The Blue Jays have until 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday to complete a trade with the White Sox if they can. There is no guarantee the two teams will come to a trade agreement by the deadline.
By rule, the Jays are also allowed to let the White Sox assume Rios' contract -- a seven-year, $69.835 million deal which still has about $60 million remaining on it -- or pull Rios back and keep him and his contract.
Two competing executives, who were unaware of the identity of the claiming team, opined that they believe the Blue Jays, who have financial issues, would be wise to just let the claiming team have Rios and his contract. However, there is little evidence that the Jays are willing to do that at this point, and may instead be trying to acquire pieces of significant value in return for Rios.
Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, while addressing the question as to why he wasn't trying to attach either Rios or the pricier Vernon Wells to star pitcher Roy Halladay in potential trades, strongly suggested he believed Rios has value beyond his big contract. Apparently the White Sox agrees.
Rios' claim was first reported by ESPN.com.
The White Sox surprised folks by trading for injured star pitcher Jake Peavy before the waiver deadline and assuming the $60 or so million on his contract. The White Sox have a lot of money coming off the books after the year, and GM Ken Williams, who's full of surprises, is thought to be an admirer of Rios.
Toronto's 28-year-old right fielder is currently hitting .264 with 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and 19 steals. In six major league seasons, Rios has made a pair of All-Star Games in 2006 and '07.