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Today in White Sox History: August 10

An aggressive waiver claim never quite pans out

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
The lukewarm tenure of Alex Rios with the White Sox began with a waiver claim on this day, 13 years ago.
Bruce Kluckhohn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images


White Sox infielders Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio appeared together on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “Magic Up The Middle, Fox And Aparicio.”


The odds had to be a million to one. For two of the smallest players in Major League Baseball, the impossible happened.

In the second inning of the nightcap of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park, Craig Grebeck and Ozzie Guillén hit back-to-back home runs off of hard-throwing Nolan Ryan. It was part of a four-run inning in a 5-1 win and a sweep of the two games.

Making matters even more incredible was that both Grebeck and Guillén pulled their shots. Craig reaching the left-field seats and Ozzie right field!


With his career fading, the White Sox dealt their all-time saves leader, Bobby Thigpen, to the Phillies for pitcher Jose DeLeon. Thigpen saved a then-major league record 57 games in 1990 but was never the same afterwards, posting lower and lower save numbers in the years after.


In an aggressive move that ultimately backfired, the White Sox claimed two-time All-Star Alex Rios off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Rios was hitting .264 at the time, with 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and 1.5 WAR — but was also due $58.6 million through 2015.

Rios’ tenure with the White Sox was a mixed bag, playing poorly after being claimed in 2009, and in the ballyhooed 2011 “All-In” season (-2.5 WAR combined) but flashing the talent that got him claimed by GM Ken Williams in the first place in 2010 (3.3 WAR) and 2012 (4.8 WAR).

Rios was off to a so-so start in 2013 (1.4 WAR) before the White Sox dealt him to Texas for Leury García. The deal off-loaded more than $20 million the White Sox were on the hook for, but overall, doling Rios out $37.2 million to produce 7.0 WAR in his career on the South Side was a significant overpay.

García would go on to become one of the most-tenured players in White Sox history, and in 2023 would be on track to crack the Top 50 all-time games played for the franchise. He has produced 4.4 WAR for the club to date over his 10 seasons.