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Trade candidate Alex Rios leaves game with right ankle sprain

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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Rangers outfielder and trade candidate Alex Rios had to leave Saturday's game after spraining his right ankle on a swing in the very first inning. He tried to walk it off but was ultimately pulled before completing the at-bat.

Here's the swing (injury is to his back foot):

The Rangers announced x-rays were negative and Rios is listed as day-to-day for the time being.

As Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported on Saturday, the Rangers are "conducting a sale of some premium players," including Rios and closer Joakim Soria. Obviously the injury could throw a wrench into trade talks involving the outfielder if he misses more than a few days.

Rios, 33, is hitting .302/.330/.435 (110 OPS+) with 21 doubles, four home runs, 16 stolen bases and a league-leading eight triples this year. He also grades out as a strong defender in right field who could play center in a pinch. Plenty of teams could use a player like that, including the Yankees, Royals and Mariners. That is just my speculation, however.

Rios is owed approximately $6 million through the end of the season and his contract includes a reasonable $13.5 million club option for next year ($1 million buyout), so he is not necessarily a rental.

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