Mark Goldman/Icon SMI
Regardless, the Blue Jays weren't pleased with their return on their investment, either, and much like the Red Sox tried unsuccessfully to do with Manny Ramirez in 2003, the team put him on waivers to try to rid itself of the future contract obligations, and the White Sox bit, relieving Toronto of just less than $61 million owed to Rios through 2014.
For the Jays, they are likely to call up minor league journeyman first baseman Randy Ruiz from Triple-A to fill the roster spot, according to the team Web site. There's an outside chance Travis Snider could get recalled, but they may wait a little bit and get closer to September before making that move. Jose Bautista may see a little bump of playing time in the short term.
The White Sox situation is a bit more complicated, but you have to figure center fielder Scott Podsednik loses a lot of playing time as a result of this deal. With Rios able to play all three outfield positions, I would expect an outfield of Carlos Quentin, Rios and Jermaine Dye to be out there most nights, with Podsednik getting in there occasionally when one of the outfielders and DH Jim Thome get a day of rest. Manager Ozzie Guillen predictably termed it a "good problem to have," and will likely have some sort of rotation, but Podsednik is the most likely to be the odd man out, depending on how much the team wants to take it easy with Quentin, who has battled foot and knee problems this season.
Rios will likely wind up sitting an extra game per week than he did in Toronto, but that might be balanced out by a slight offensive bump thanks to calling "The Cell" his new home park instead of the Rogers Centre. We all know how streaky Rios is as a hitter and how white-hot he can get, so hopefully this change of scenery prompts a tear, as he has not had a good run of hot hitting since May.
• Chad Billingsley will miss his start Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, but hopes to take the mound again Monday. He strained the hamstring during an at-bat in his previous outing, but doesn't believe it's that serious and expects to avoid the disabled list. Both Jeff Weaver and James McDonald are candidates to take Billingsley's place for this one start. The Dodgers will also be without Orlando Hudson for several games after he injured his groin Monday night, though he is also not expected to need a trip to the disabled list.
• An MRI showed nothing serious with Carlos Zambrano's back injury, and he hopes to return from the disabled list on Aug. 23. However, ESPNChicago.com is reporting that the Big Z has had an epidural shot to relieve pain in his back at least three times, so he may not be out of the woods just yet. Additionally, the Cubs will examine Aramis Ramirez's shoulder today. He spent almost two months on the disabled list after dislocating it earlier in the season, and hasn't played the past two games due to continued soreness. Ramirez said he has not been pain-free since returning. That's troublesome news, and puts a damper on his expected production down the stretch, especially since a return to the DL is a possibility.
• Diamondbacks first baseman Conor Jackson, who has not appeared in a game since May 11, will begin a rehab assignment at low Class A as he tries to come back from a debilitating case of Valley Fever that at times rendered it difficult for him to even get out of bed in the morning. His comeback is expected to be slow, but he's regained enough strength to begin.
• Torii Hunter will also begin his rehab assignment Tuesday as he recovers from an oblique injury, and could be back with the Angels by the weekend.
• Johnny Cueto's start was cut short after just two innings due to a tight left hip flexor, and he will be reevaluated Tuesday to see how sore he is. He said he started feeling it in the first inning, and clearly looked pained running to first in the top of the third. Cueto told the team Web site that he didn't think the injury would cause him to miss his next start.
• Kendry Morales kept on rolling, going yard twice (as did teammate Vladimir Guerrero) against the Rays. Morales now has 25 homers on the year and has very quietly been a top-10 first baseman as far as fantasy value.
• Jordan Zimmermann will undergo Tommy John surgery and likely not return until 2011. It's a tough blow for a young pitcher who showed so much promise and strikeout ability this season.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Going 5-for-5, hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs, Tulowitzki showed that his statistical surge in June and July might not be done with yet. The Rockies' shortstop put up an OPS above 1.000 in each of the previous two months, and may be on track to do so again. With 21 homers and 15 steals this season, Tulo has reclaimed his place as a top-five shortstop after a rough 2008 season.
Gio Gonzalez, Athletics
Gonzalez put up six shutout innings in a win against the Orioles, striking out five. Gonzalez has allowed zero or one run in three of his past four starts and has struck out more than a batter per inning since a 2 2/3 inning, 11-run debacle against the Twins on July 20. His career has been marked by inconsistency, though, so don't necessarily jump on the bandwagon yet unless you really need some starting pitching in AL leagues.
Tulowitzki was not the only one to put up that line Monday: The A's Mark Ellis also went 5-for-5, and drove in four against Baltimore. Ellis is quietly providing a modest fantasy return in deep leagues, hitting .270 with five homers and six steals in 56 games this season, and batting .429 this month.
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Christopher Harris: Honestly, I thought Coghlan was pretty OK right from the moment he came up. I was recommending him in deep leagues right away, and while you're right, this latest stretch has been something quite a bit more, I don't think it's an utter fluke. I won't say he's a must-add in a 10-team mixed, but anything deeper than that, I'm looking at him. As for Dukes -- boy, he's just so hard to predict. For raw talent and ability, you're not going to find many better. But it can always go either way with him, depending on his head. If I were in a league where I really needed to make a push based on high-upside power and speed, I might take a chance, with the knowledge that it's something of a Hail Mary.
-- Full chat transcript
Tuesday's fantasy chat schedule:
AJ Mass, 11 a.m. ET
• Travis Snider homered for the Blue Jays' Triple-A club last night, giving him six in the past 10 games. He's now hitting .314 with 13 homers in 43 Triple-A games this season after missing some time with a back injury, and will be up when rosters expand in September, if not sooner. He could have some value down the stretch for fantasy teams making a championship run.
• The top catching prospect in the minors, Buster Posey, homered for his fourth time since moving to Triple-A, and is now batting .289 in 23 games there. Posey skipped Double-A, but hasn't missed a beat, continuing to control the strike zone in the upper minors, and is on track to potentially be the Giants' opening day catcher in 2010.
• Dustin Nippert also could have some sleeper value in AL leagues down the stretch as he replaces Vicente Padilla in the Texas rotation. He allowed just one hit and no runs in five innings against Oakland the last time out, and has a 3.50 ERA in four starts this season.
• Roy Oswalt makes his return to the rotation after a back issue to face the Marlins. His injury has responded well after bullpen sessions, so his owners will be watching closely to see if he'll be able to continue to provide solid value down the stretch and that the injury doesn't flare up again.
• For more on Tuesday's games, check out Daily Notes.