Edwin Rios elects for free agency after wasted season with Chicago Cubs

For a team that lacked consistent power while searching for an answer at third base, the Chicago Cubs never gave Edwin Rios the opportunity he thought was coming.

Apr 30, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Chicago Cubs designated hitter Edwin Rios (30) celebrates hitting
Apr 30, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Chicago Cubs designated hitter Edwin Rios (30) celebrates hitting / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Edwin Rios experiment is over for the Chicago Cubs and one could argue that it never really started.

Rios signed with the Cubs at the start of Spring Training last season and after never being given an opportunity at consistent playing time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was a sense that the veteran corner infielder would get consistent playing time in Chicago.

The Cubs, with their offense lacking power, had a need at first base and third base but manager David Ross never seemed to be a fan of the idea of giving Rios playing time. Rios had 2 hits in 34 plate appearances with the Cubs during the 2023 season but he spent a large portion of the year with the Iowa Cubs.

Rios slashed .263/.264/.454 with the I-Cubs in 176 plate appearances while compiling a 107 wRC+. With Rios being outrighted from the Cubs' 40-man roster during the season, he had the right to elect free agency this off-season and that is what decided to do as he will forgo a return to the Cubs' organization next season in favor of landing a better opportunity elsewhere.

Edwin Rios will not be returning to the Chicago Cubs after electing free agency this off-season.

Patrick Wisdom's hot start to the 2023 season likely played a factor in Rios quickly falling out of the rotation in terms of plate appearances. Couple that with the emergence of Christopher Morel as the team's designated hitter and Cody Bellinger shifting to the infield at first base and Rios did not have a path to consistent playing time.

Rios was likely not going to have a role with the Major League team in 2024 so there is no real loss for the Cubs. Wisdom, if he is brought back, likely would serve as power hitting corner infielder on the bench.

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