Rangers buy out Rios, pass on 2015 option

Veteran outfielder was in line to earn $14 million from Texas next season

Rangers buy out Rios, pass on 2015 option

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have informed outfielder Alex Rios that they will not pick up his $14 million option but will instead pay a $1 million buyout, according to a Major League source confirming a report by CBSSports.com. The club has not commented on Rios' status.

The Rangers are planning to move outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to right field. Their options for left field include Michael Choice, Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski, Jim Adduci and Daniel Robertson. All had limited playing time for the Rangers this past season.

The Rangers could also look for outfield depth through a trade or free agency, but they'll go into the winter with starting pitching as their No. 1 priority.

Rios played in 131 games for the Rangers despite being plagued by a sprained right ankle and a badly bruised right thumb for almost the entire second half. He ended up hitting .280 with four home runs, 54 RBIs and a .398 slugging percentage.

Rua hit .295 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 28 games while showing the ability to play multiple positions, including first and third base. Smolinski hit .349 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 24 games despite missing almost two months with a bone bruise in his left foot.

Adduci batted just .168 with one home run and eight RBIs in 44 games as injuries kept him from getting any consistent playing time for an extended period. Robertson, who was rescued from the Padres farm system, ended up hitting .271 with a .333 on-base percentage as a fourth outfielder with speed and grit.

The Rangers had hoped that Choice would be ready for a full-time role in 2015. A former first-round Draft pick acquired from the Athletics a year ago, he struggled with the Rangers, hitting .182 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and .320 slugging percentage in 86 games.

The list of top free-agent outfielders potentially includes Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, Nick Markakis, Nori Aoki and Torii Hunter.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.