Jul 7, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios (51) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Rios traded to the Rangers, reportedly for Leury Garcia

And here I thought that we were past all this. 

With–according to T.R. Sullivan–10 minutes to go before Texas’ waiver claim expired, the Rangers and White Sox reached an agreement to actually part with a real, live, blessed and holy Rangers prospect in exchange for a steady, starting quality right fielder.

The White Sox will send over $1 million with Rios (perhaps in a duffle bag that he will carry), but will have the rest of his salary–approximately $16 million–taken off their hands in exchange for 22 year-old infielder Leury Garcia. Garcia has not been confirmed yet, but is also being reported as the return by Sullivan.

Garcia, while an empty-average hitter at best, has his qualities detailed here by Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball.

So, like a faster version of what Alexei Ramirez is now…who’s not getting paid $10 million per year.

He has to pass through waivers first, which could very easily get messed up something fierce.

The White Sox certainly didn’t take their biggest chips and remake a whole new core for themselves, but misery and woe befalling every single one of their major trade candidates certainly didn’t aid them in that regard. Avisail Garcia remains the only returning piece with a guaranteed shot–or even a projection–to become a regular, and they’re frantically at work trying to fly him in for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader.

What the Sox will come out of this boasting is payroll flexibility. They have $48 million committed to the 2014 payroll before arbitration cases, and since Adam Dunn cleared waivers Friday, they’re in the position to create a bit more.

Payroll is only as interesting as what’s done with it and the new CBA prevents against exciting ideas like “buy the entire Dominican Republic.” Rick Hahn is quickly becoming famous for posturing, but has the beat writers convinced he has no plans for a long-term rebuild, so feel free to spend the rest of the year speculating on free agents, calculating whether two or three signings is enough to patch up the worst offense in the league and forgetting that nearly everyone available except Delmon Young is over 30.

If nothing else, take solace in this–Alex Rios has been hitting under .700 OPS since mid-May and now they won’t be hitting him third in the lineup anymore.

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

 

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