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Blue Jays showing interest in their former outfielder Alex Rios

Alex Rios has been hitting with the Rangers but not for power.
Alex Rios has been hitting with the Rangers but not for power. (USATSI)

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In an interesting twist, the Blue Jays are showing interest in their former player Alex Rios, according to sources.

Rios is one of the best hitters in a thin market for middle-of-the-lineup batters, so it shouldn't come as a surprise Toronto, with three key injuries hurting them now, would check in. Yet, it is a bit ironic since the Blue Jays were thrilled in 2009 when the White Sox shocked folks and claimed the outfielder off waivers, taking a $69.835-million contract many believed was untradeable at the time.

Of course things have changed and Rios is producing more now; he's hitting .302 with four homers and 42 RBI for the Rangers, who acquired him last July when Nelson Cruz was suspended in the Biogenesis probe. Another plus: he's worth the current $12.5 million salary, and also the $14-million team option for 2015 on that old unpopular contract looks reasonable now. (Texas will surely pick it up if it keeps him.)

"I'd recommend Rios," one AL scout said. 'You're not going to get much power, but he hits, he runs and he throws."

The Royals and Mariners are among other teams with interest in Rios, and the Giants could make sense, as well.

A friend of Rios said the trade rumors have bothered him, perhaps accounting for a drop in production this summer. He was at a high of .335 on June 9 and 10.

The Blue Jays are currently without Edwin Encarnacion (quad), Brett Lawrie (finger) and Adam Lind (foot) as they struggle not to fall behind in a tight AL East.

Toronto is also hard to predict as it is involved in maybe more talks than anyone, and there's also a question whether it has much (if any) money to spend at the deadline, as was written here.

Rios' old team is not on his six-team no-trade list, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.

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