Each team sufficiently motivated, the Rangers and White Sox completed the first waiver trade of August. Chicago completed its veteran sell-off, sending right fielder Alex Rios and $1 million cash to Texas for a player to be named.
The identity of the PTBN reportedly is 22-year-old Leury Garcia, whom the Rangers were grooming to be a utility player capable of handling shortstop, second base and center field. Update: Garcia officially joined the White Sox on Aug. 11 after clearing waivers.
The White Sox have cleared more than $10.5 million in payroll commitments for 2013 by trading Rios, Jake Peavy, Matt Thronton and Jesse Crain and replacing them with players making the minimum. That outlook improves in 2014, when the Red Sox (Peavy) and Rangers (Rios) assume the combined $27 million for which the White Sox would have been responsible.
|White Sox Acquire|
Leury Garcia, ss/2b
Age: 22 Bats: B
Garcia has three top-of-the-line tools—speed, range and arm strength—though he doesn’t get the most out of his elite speed or range right now because he still makes too many careless mistakes. A wiry-strong 5-foot-7, he could develop into a fringe regular or strong extra if he refines his hitting approach to focus on line drives, groundballs and walks. Power will never be a factor for Garcia, though he can drive the ball into the gaps from the left side and he makes a fair amount of contact.
Alex Rios, rf
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $12.5 million salary for 2013, then $12.5 million for 2014 and $1 million buyout for 2015.
The Rangers will plug Rios into the position vacated by Nelson Cruz when he accepted—rather than appeal and keep playing—his 50-game suspension for being linked to the Biogenesis clinic. Texas will be on the hook for Rios’ $12.5 million salary for 2014, though once the White Sox money is factored in, they acquired his services for roughly $3 million for the balance of this season.
The Tigers faced a similar situation as the Rangers when they lost shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who, like Cruz, opted to take his 50-game suspension now rather than jeopardize his pending free agency. Detroit traded its most advanced position prospect, Avisail Garcia, for Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias.