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Transaction Analysis: Alex Rios to the White Sox

Alex Rios

Alex Rios

Yes, the Blue Jays handed Rios over to the White Sox, on a straight waiver claim. "Here you go." Boom.

Rios had a full no-trade clause, but I guess that when your team tells you, "We're willing to give you to the White Sox for NOTHING," you get the hint.

I'm fortunate enough to be here at Yankee Stadium, where Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi announced his decision. To me, this makes sense for both sides.

For the Jays, it's "financial flexibility," as Ricciardi put it. You can call it a "salary dump," if it makes you feel better. No matter the semantics, the reality is that the economics of the game have changed dramatically since Toronto committed a seven-year, $69.835 million deal to Rios in March of last year.

The Blue Jays can take that money - about $1.9 million this year, and then another $60 million through 2014 - and fill probably three or four needs.

On the other side, the White Sox can afford this risk _ just as they could afford the risk of acquiring Jake Peavy on July 31 _ because GM Kenny Williams has done a superb job of managing his payroll. Rios will play centerfield for the White Sox, so he'll provide greater value for them than he did for Toronto, where Rios occupied center.

With Rios coming aboard and Peavy working his way off the disabled list, the White Sox have to be regarded as very strong candidates to steal the AL Central title from the Tigers.

--All else is quiet here in the Bronx. Going to write a column on how the Yankees now cope with their newfound prosperity. Please don't tell my competitors.

--Pedro Martinez will make his first 2009 major-league start Wednesday night in Wrigley Field. The Phillies will demote Jamie Moyer to the bullpen to make room in their starting rotation for Pedro.

--Thanks to the Associated Press for the photo.

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