First of all, with regard to Alex Rios(notes) and JP Ricciardi: If a GM signs a player for $70 million dollars one year, then simply lets him go to another franchise 16 months later without receiving compensation, he cannot be fully credited with a "job-saving shrewd move." C'mon.
Also, when Ricciardi says, "It enables us to have more financial flexibility," he's really just finding a more corporate way to say "salary dump."
We offered a short fantasy spin on Rios-to-Chicago following the claim, and Scott addressed the move in last night's Closing Time. The White Sox have all kinds of payroll coming off the books at the end of this season and next, so don't worry about them. They'll be OK. They've certainly improved defensively, and Rios' contract isn't really that ghastly.
"The lineup?" asked Ozzie Guillen. "That's going to be my headache – a good one."
But enough about the Sox. And too much has been written already about Ricciardi, dead man dealing. Let's check the file on outfield prospect Travis Snider(notes), just in case. The Rios giveaway appears to clear a path for Snider's return to Toronto, although MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweeted cold water on that yesterday:
Ruiz is a 31-year-old first baseman/designated hitter who's currently enjoying another fine minor league season (25 HR, .976 OPS in 521 PA). But Snider is just 21, he's capable of stepping in for Rios in right field, and he's hit 13 homers in just 181 Triple-A plate appearances. He's been on a tear lately, too, hitting .410 with six home runs in August. Snider's OPS is 1.063 and he's dealing with lefties and righties almost equally well (1.097 OPS vs. LHP, 1.051 vs. RHP).
Whenever he's recalled, he'll be a solid speculative add for power purposes. Snider is just six percent owned in Yahoo! PLUS leagues. He did not impress in 32 games with the Jays back in April and May (.242/.292/.394), but that hardly dims his long-term prospects.
Update, 4:15 pm ET: Bastian tweets again: "Randy Ruiz called up by Jays, DHing and batting 6th vs Yanks." Enjoy, Toronto. See you in September, Snider.
Photo via US Presswire