Alex Rios has been claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers on Thursday, per a Dallas Morning News report.
The White Sox and Rangers are now in a 72-hour window to negotiate a potential trade for the outfielder.
The White Sox also released outfielder Casper Wells and the Philadelphia Phillies claimed him. No trade was involved in Wells’ release.
Rios has hit 12 homers, 55 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 109 games this season. The outfielder is set to earn $12.5 million next season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2015.
Both figures increase by $500,000 if Rios is traded.
He has a .277/.328/.421 slash line even though he spent the better part of five weeks in a slump, which manager Robin Ventura thought might have been caused by Rios’ name constantly popping up in trade rumors.
Texas was considered by many to have significant interest in Rios prior to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. With the impending loss of Nelson Cruz to a season-ending suspension for his involvement in Biogenesis, speculation arose that Rios would be a great fit for the Rangers.
But Texas didn’t heavily pursue Rios before last Wednesday’s deadline.
Their current interest is no surprise, however, given Cruz's decision not to appeal a suspension that will keep him sidelined for the rest of the regular season.
A two-time All-Star, Cruz led the Rangers with 27 homers, a total that still ranks fourth in the American League. He has a team-high 76 RBIs and had a .269/.330/.511 slash line in 108 games.
Teams are restricted from commenting on players involved in the waiver process.
Once a player is claimed, the team who has requested release waivers has three options: they can pull the player back off waivers, release him outright or they may attempt to negotiate a trade with the claiming team.
The process is not uncommon in August as teams attempt to put most of their players through waivers in order to have the ability to trade them -- if necessary -– before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.
Players added to the 40-man roster after Sept. 1 aren’t eligible to participate in the postseason.
Wells had 11 hits in 66 at-bats with an RBI in 38 games since he was claimed off waivers by the White Sox in April. He also pitched a scoreless inning in relief in a blowout loss on June 28.
Either move could be an attempt to make space on the 25-man roster for Avisail Garcia, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 30 as part of a three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox.
Garcia has a .417/.517/.625 slash line with a triple, homer and nine RBI in seven games at Triple-A Charlotte since the deal. He’s hitting .385 with seven homers and 36 RBI overall in the minors this season.
At the time of the deal, general manager Rick Hahn said the team sent Garcia to Triple-A only because the White Sox didn’t have four at-bats available every night and they wanted him to continue to develop and play on a regular basis.
Foxsports.com was the first to report Rios had been claimed on waivers.