Alex Rios is bound to be on the move in the next week or so.
The Boston Red Sox have had their eyes on the outfielder in the last week, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe:
The Red Sox have scouted both Alex Rios and Michael Young in the past week. Will be watching Jake Peavy closely in his next couple of starts— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 19, 2013
While Boston may be taking a closer look at what Rios has to offer, it doesn’t seem likely general manager Ben Cherington will pull the trigger on a deal for an outfielder. The outfield is the least of Cherington’s worries right now, as Boston has the third-best outfield in the game this season in terms of WAR, per FanGraphs.
Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .304/.369/.426 with four home runs and 34 RBI. He also leads the league in steals with 37. Shane Victorino has suffered a few bumps and bruises in 2013 but has been productive as well (.285/.331/.395). The Red Sox also have Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp, who have been impressive at times.
Boston doesn’t seem like the best fit for Rios.
There may have been some assumptions that the 32-year-old was going to get dealt the other night. He was pulled from the game last Friday against the Braves in the seventh inning. When it’s this time of the year and a star gets removed midgame, everyone immediately thinks he’s getting dealt.
Scott Merkin of MLB.com crushed everyone’s hopes:
Rios was taken out for not running on dp— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 20, 2013
It still seems likely Rios will be moved before the trade deadline. While the White Sox entered Tuesday 14 games back in the AL Central, Rios has been one of the team’s best players. Through 94 games, the outfielder is hitting .277/.331/.443 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, 50 runs and 20 stolen bases.
While we wait to see where Rios will be playing down the stretch, here are the latest rumors on a few other outfielders potentially on the move.
Jason Kubel, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jason Kubel was a huge asset for the Diamondbacks last season. This year, he’s more of a liability. In 2012, he hit .253/.327/.506 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI through 141 games. Entering Tuesday, Kubel has played in 66 games but has only hit five home runs and driven in 27 runs.
Will the Diamondbacks trade Kubel?
Kubel’s inability to replicate his success from last season definitely hasn’t helped his trade value, and while he could catch fire late this year, that doesn’t seem likely. Over the course of his career, his first-half OPS is 36 points higher than his second-half OPS, according to Baseball-Reference.
The Diamondbacks would be willing to trade Kubel if the team could get a pitcher in return, according to Nick Cafardo in one of his recent columns for The Boston Globe. Arizona could probably get a pitcher for the outfielder’s services, but it might not be a very good one if there aren’t other pieces in the deal.
According to FanGraphs, Arizona has the 18th-best starting rotation in baseball this season in terms of WAR and the 24th-best bullpen in 2013 in terms of WAR. Clearly the organization needs to address its weak pitching. A trade involving Kubel and a top-10 prospect could get the job done.
Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners
Raul Ibanez is easily one of the biggest bargains in baseball. Last season, he made $1.1 million with the Yankees and hit 19 home runs in 130 games. He signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with Seattle over the winter and has been even better. Through 77 games, the 41-year-old has hit 24 balls out of the park.
Will the Mariners trade Ibanez?
Ibanez would be a nice second-half addition for a contending team, considering he can play the outfield, first base or be the designated hitter. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the Rays have called about Ibanez—as well as Kendrys Morales. Tampa Bay could definitely use him in in the second half.
Tampa Bay currently has the best offense in baseball in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs. If the Rays were to land the veteran slugger, they would probably use him as a pinch hitter and fourth outfielder. The team is really set in all of the positions Ibanez can play, so it’s unlikely he’d be a starter.
It doesn’t appear Ibanez is going anywhere this summer, though, according to Heyman. He writes that the Mariners don’t want to sell off the veterans because it could have a negative impact on the younger players in the clubhouse. The mentality makes sense, and it’s smart to keep him since they might not get much for him.
All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 22. All injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.