The Rangers have informed outfielder Alex Rios that they will decline his $13.5 million team option for next year and will instead pay him a $2 million buyout, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. As has been widely expected since the end of the season, Rios will become a free agent.
Rios, who turns 34 this offseason, hit .280/.311/.398 with four home runs and 51 RBI in 131 games during his first full season with the Rangers. He ended the season on the disabled list with thumb issues and was criticized for a decrease in speed and fielding abilities, leading the Rangers to their decision to part ways after a season and a half with Rios as their right-fielder.
Despite the departure of Rios, the Rangers' starting outfield for next season appears to be set with Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Choice and Leonys Martin under team control. The Rangers are expected to pursue outfield depth on the free agent and trade markets, but also have options like Jake Smolinski, Daniel Robertson and Jim Adduci as backup options.