Tablet Sports

Rangers notes: Interest in Rios heats up as trade deadline approaches

Interest in Alex Rios picked up Wednesday, the final full day before the trade deadline, but no team had presented the Texas Rangers with an offer attractive enough to consider dealing the right fielder.

Rangers officials were expecting to receive better offers later Wednesday and ahead of the 3 p.m. Thursday non-waiver deadline. As of first pitch, though, they had been underwhelmed.

Interest in left-hander Neal Cotts had waned.

Rios has limited no-trade protection, and the New York Yankees are among the teams on that list. He can also block trades to Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City and Oakland.

His preference is to stay with the Rangers and have them pick up the club option for 2015. He also knows that Thursday doesn’t necessarily signal the end of trade season, as twice he has been dealt during the waiver period.

Above all else, Rios knows the business end of baseball.

“You have to see that part of it,” he said. “You have to understand the situation. It is what it is, and whatever happens, happens.”

The Rangers have already made two trades this month, receiving pitching prospects for sending right-hander Jason Frasor to Kansas City on July 16 and Joakim Soria to Detroit on July 23.

Soto runs

Catcher Geovany Soto ran the bases for the first time since going on the disabled list last week with a strained right groin, and he expects to head out on a medical rehabilitation assignment Friday at Triple A Round Rock.

Soto had been back from knee surgery for only three games before the groin injury while trying to score from second base July 21 at Yankee Stadium.

“I thought it was going to feel a little achy, but it didn’t,” Soto said. “I’ve felt better every day.”

Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez have handled the catching duties in Soto’s absence.

Dropping the ball

Manager Ron Washington continues to be baffled by the communication issues that have haunted the Rangers’ outfield, including a missed fly ball that bounced off Leonys Martin’s head in Tuesday’s loss.

Washington said he watched in disbelief as Martin nearly collided with right fielder Alex Rios, who was, as Washington called it, “camped” under the ball. Instead, Rios lost sight of the ball when he realized Martin was closing in on him from center field.

As the center fielder, Washington said, it’s Martin’s job to know where his fellow outfielders are, especially on a fly ball.

“Same message we’ve been trying to give to him: Look where you’re going, be aware of your surroundings. You are in charge, but you can’t catch balls other people are camped under,” he said.

“I’m not going to bash Martin. It’s about learning. That’s all I want him to do is learn. [But he needs to] change something between him and his outfielders out there to make sure this stops.”

Martin said that he didn’t hear Rios calling for the ball. Replays showed Rios yelling for the fly.

“He thought he was going to get nailed; he caught Leonys out of the corner of his eye,” Washington said. “All it is is looking where you’re going and seeing where the people are. It’s just that simple. You can’t run blind. It’s about awareness.”