Alex Rios celebrates after scoring on a double in. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Waiting was the hard part for Alex Rios and his family.
But by noon Friday, the White Sox had completed a deal sending the veteran outfielder to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later and $1 million in cash considerations.
That player is expected to be infielder Leury Garcia, 22.
The move also allows the Sox to immediately recall promising outfielder Avisail Garcia, who was acquired at the July 31 trade deadline in a three-way deal sending pitcher Jake Peavy to Boston.
Avisail Garcia was expected to arrive in time to play in Friday’s second game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
“The trade came down to 15 minutes before the deadline as we were going back and forth with Texas on various ideas,’’ Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Friday. “This is, for us, another step in the process of retooling this club.
“It’s difficult to let a player like Alex Rios go. He, in my opinion, has been outstanding for us on and off the field during his stay in Chicago–a pure class act.
“At the same time this opens an opportunity for playing time for Avisail Garcia, who will be traveling to Chicago right now and hopefully will be here for tonight’s game. That’s a big consideration for us as we start to retool this club and bring in that next group of guys and get them going on their major league career and development.’’
Avisail Garcia, 22, played in 23 games last season for the Tigers, including in the playoffs and World Series. He hit .455 against the Yankees in the AL Championship Series.
He hit .319 last season and was hitting .241 in 30 games for the Tigers this season.
The Sox sent him to Class AAA Charlotte when he was acquired, and he was hitting .370 with one home run and nine RBI in eight games.
By shedding most of Rios’ remaining $13.5 million for next season, the Sox also gain “a fair amount of economic flexibility,’’ Hahn said.
“We look forward to using it both in the [amateur] draft and internationally, and potentially in other avenues [meaning free agency] to acquire players for Chicago,’’ he said.
Rios will join former teammate A.J. Pierzynski on the playoff-contending Rangers.
The Rangers pursued Rios in the wake of the 50-game suspension of their outfielder Nelson Cruz this week in the Biogenesis drug scandal.
“I believe it’s going to be refreshing for myself,’’ Rios said. “I’m going to go to a team that is fighting for a playoff spot. I believe it’s going to be refreshing. I believe they are hoping to win their division and go to the playoffs, so let’s see what happens.’’