White Sox Get Rios for Free

When was the last time a player in the prime of his career was moved from one team to another in exchange for nothing?  I can’t think of a time and I hope for the sake of the sport of baseball that Monday was the last time.

The Blue Jays placed 28 year old Alex Rios on waivers last week and he was claimed by the White Sox.  Ordinarily, the team placing the player on waivers would pull him back and try to work out a trade with the team claiming him.  Not in this case.  The Blue Jays just let the White Sox have him.  For nothing.  The rich get richer.  Tell me why, if baseball is so concerned about parity, something like this is allowed to happen because of the rules regarding player movement.

I think this is terrible for baseball.  The rich get richer.  For free.  This wouldn’t raise any flags if there was a player to be named later (the last pick in the draft, an inconsequential minor leaguer) or if he was traded for cash.  But no, the Blue Jays didn’t insist on anything and were just happy to not have to pay the remaining five years on his contract.  Toronto GM JP Ricciardi claims this move wasn’t financially motivated, but what else can it be?

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