Edwin Rios determined to prove Dodgers wrong with Chicago Cubs
It was last Friday when the Chicago Cubs made the surprise signing of free-agent infielder Edwin Rios to a one-year deal. Rios was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers last December and remained on the free agent market as he looked for his next opportunity.
A tweet that was shared by LA Times baseball writer Jorge Castillo adds some insight into Rios and his decision to sign with the Cubs.
Rios never received consistent playing time in his four seasons with the Dodgers and the 2022 season appeared to have signaled the end of his time with the team. Rios slashed .244/.293/.500 in 92 plate appearances with the Dodgers to go along with 7 home runs. Rios continued to show elite power levels as his .256 ISO would suggest but after suffering a hamstring injury in June and being placed on the injured list by the Dodgers, he did not return to the Major League level.
Rios expanded on his frustration in a conversation with Castillo for the LA Times.
"“I was like, ‘When this is all over I’m going to go up,’ and that didn’t happen,” Ríos said of his rehab assignment. “Once I got the news that I was getting optioned, it was kind of a punch in the gut. So I got a little frustrated, I would say. Didn’t start hitting as well. I think it was more of a mental thing, kind of like just expecting to go back up and stuff like that.”"- Edwin Rios via Los Angeles Times
Now healthy and with the Cubs, Rios should have an opportunity at consistent playing time. The Cubs are a team that is desperate for power and that could be the reason why Rios works his way into the team's lineup more frequently than he was with the Dodgers.
While the Cubs do not have a set starter at the third base position, they have many options. Patrick Wisdom would appear to be the favorite in regard to getting a bulk of the starts at third base, especially against left-handed pitchers. Still, Rios, Christopher Morel, Nick Madrigal, and Zach McKinstry all figure to get playing at the position as well. For Rios, he also has experience playing first base and each corner outfield spot, so that will likely play in his favor regarding playing time.