The Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to non-tender Cody Bellinger has drawn no shortage of reactions. However, their Edwin Rios non-tender decision flew under the radar. Rios, a 28-year old corner infielder with pop in his bat, was a surprise non-tender option for LA alongside Bellinger. Dodgers’ beat reporter Juan Toribio recently joined the Bleed Los Podcast to discuss the Bellinger and Rios decisions.
“It’s not that they don’t want Cody Bellinger on the team,” Toribio said. “It’s just they don’t think they can pay $19, $18, $20 million dollars for a guy who, for two years, has become a defensive specialist at this point.”
Cody Bellinger is now a highly sought after free agent. But Edwin Rios is a player who can add value as well. Toribio also revealed why the Dodgers let him go on the podcast.
“His (Rios) defense was a big problem in the minors even after he came back from his injury,” Toribio said. “I also think the fit part of it is true. He can’t really play first base and third base because you have Freddie Freeman who plays every single day at first base. And then at third base you have Max Muncy who’s also a left-handed hitter. So there’s really no need for Edwin Rios.”
The Dodgers also feature a stacked farm system. Prospect James Outman could realistically be an option to replace Cody Bellinger in centerfield next season. Given the non-fit and depth in the minors, Rios simply did not make sense for the Dodgers anymore. But teams would be wise to take a chance on Rios in free agency.