Big League Stew - MLB

Kenny, what did you do?

Kenny Williams (above right) has pulled off some surprising moves since becoming Chicago's general manager, but this one raises the eyebrows to their highest possible point on the forehead. 

The White Sox acquired two-time All-Star outfielder Alex Rios(notes) on Monday on waivers from the Blue Jays, a transaction the Chicago Tribune calls "shocking" because of his price tag.

Rios is owed $59.7 million from 2010-2014 — the key reason the Jays exposed him to waivers in the first place — and he will crowd a White Sox outfield that already has Jermaine Dye(notes), Carlos Quentin(notes) and Scott Podsednik(notes). And if you're asking "What about DH?" don't look there, either, Jim Thome(notes) fans.

The other reason the move is shocking is because most of the 40-man rosters around the majors pass through waivers during the season. Players usually go unclaimed, or claimed then pulled back, or claimed then traded to the team that claimed 'em.

The White Sox claimed Rios and are stuck because the Jays just let him go. J.P. Ricciardi didn't allow Roy Halladay(notes) to escape, but Rios? You, you go ahead.

Rios is batting .264 with 14 homers, 62 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 108 games. Rios also has a .317 on-base and a .427 slugging percentage — both of which also are well below his career averages.

An All-Star in 2006 and 2007 (when he started for the AL), Rios also has had an off-year away from the field as this embarrassing episode showed.

He's an above-average right fielder on defense and probably would be an average center fielder if given a chance there. But is he worth $9 million a season for all that? And where will he play this season? Ozzie Guillen, do your thing.

The White Sox, while usually one of the bigger spenders in the majors, recently added Jake Peavy's(notes) $56-million tag to their payroll, and he has yet to throw a pitch for them. Now Rios. Ken Williams the gambler is at it again, with Jerry Reinsdorf's money.

Will this be considered a job-saving shrewd move by Ricciardi? Is it the beginning of the end for Williams, who brought a World Series trophy to the White Sox in '05?

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