TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi downplayed an online report that surfaced on Friday, indicating that right fielder Alex Rios has been claimed off waivers by an unidentified team. That does not necessarily mean Toronto isn't currently weighing its options with the outfielder.
"It's the time of year where everybody gets put through waivers on every team," Ricciardi said. "For us to comment on that, I don't think is a good thing. We're not going to comment on the waiver wire. It's unfortunate that someone puts anything out there that's supposed to be confidential.
"In this case, all I'll tell you is everybody gets put through waivers. It's a normal process. Every team does it, but we're not going to comment on who was claimed or who wasn't claimed."
Following Major League Baseball's July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, teams need to pass a player through waivers if they want to try to deal them to another club. It is not uncommon for every team to expose much of its roster to waivers in order to gauge interest from around the league. Players acquired before Sept. 1 are eligible for postseason rosters.
If a player is claimed by another organization, a team can either pull the player off waivers, let the claiming team add him to its roster or discuss a trade with the claiming club. In Rios' case, parting with the underperforming right fielder would be a way to shed salary for a Toronto club that has slipped to fourth place in the American League East.
The Blue Jays would have until Tuesday to make a decision on Rios. According to a report on ESPN.com, citing Major League sources, the White Sox most likely are the team that put in a claim on Rios.
Rios -- a two-time American League All-Star -- is signed to a seven-year extension worth nearly $70 million that runs through the 2014 season and includes a $13.5 million club option for 2015. Rios is under contract for $5.9 million this year and is scheduled to earn $9.7 million next year. Over the 2011-14 campaigns, Rios' salary jumps to between $12 million to $12.5 million annually.
This season, the 28-year-old Rios has fallen below expectations, hitting .261 with a .315 on-base percentage, 12 homers and 58 RBIs though 105 games for Blue Jays. Toronto's top outfield prospect, Travis Snider, who is currenlty with Triple-A Las Vegas, has the ability to play right field in the event that Rios is moved.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.