Will Claiming Alex Rios Cost The White Sox Chone Figgins?

Angels-White Sox

In short, yes.

Just like the remaining two-years and $21 million remaining on Milton Bradley's contract will likely handcuff the Cubs this offseason, Alex Rios' bulky contract in which he is scheduled to make $58.7 million through the 2014 campaign will hamper the White Sox.

For years, Kenny Williams and the South Siders have coveted Chone Figgins of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  The versatile Figgins would be a perfect fit at The Cell where he would lead off and play third base for Ozzie Guillen, one of the few American League managers that itches to play a National League style of ball.  The move would likely shift Gordon Beckham to his natural position, shortstop, while moving Alexei Ramirez back to second base.

In a story by the Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley, Guillen said he believes Figgins' price won't be right.

''[T]his kid is going to cost you a lot of money. If we figure out this guy is going to solve our problem, then [chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] will take a shot because Jerry wants to win."

Figgins made $5.7 million in 2009 and will be looking squarely at a hefty raise once the World Series is over and the market opens up.  And the White Sox, a team that in the past has been reluctant to shell out big money for free agents, will be in competition with any team looking for a speedy infielder with a high on-base percentage, including the crosstown Cubs.

While Rios' addition clears up what has been a clusterf*ck of failure in center field since Aaron Rowand was traded away, Rios will need to improve on the .199/.299/.301/.530 line he posted since joining the White Sox.  If not, his presence in the outfield might as well have created a hole in the infield that could have been filled by Figgins.

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