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MLB Trade Rumors: Alex Rios To The Pirates??

John Perrotto from posted a rumor going on around the All Star game today where the Blue Jays would send disgruntled OFer Alex Rios, and cash most likely, to the Pirates for pitcher Paul Maholm.

This is an interesting deal because should this deal go down, one can surmise that the Blue Jays DO need to off salary and WILL trade Roy Halladay before the July 31st trade deadline. The other reason is that the Blue Jays appear to be tiring of Rios' inability to reach his potential along with his 7 year year $69 million contract that goes out to 2014.

Should Pirates GM Neil Huntington pull this deal off without taking on alot of Rios' contract, Pirates fans may start to warm up to Huntington's ability to make a deal, as well as his rebuilding plan. And here is part of Huntington's plan:

The Pirates’ top priority is finding a right-handed power hitter, who could eventually team with Class AA Altoona left-handed hitting third baseman Pedro Alvarez in the middle of the batting order. Rios is a right-handed bat with some pop but he has never lived up to the vast promise he showed while coming up through the Blue Jays’ farm system.

Rios is hitting .262-.316-.416 with 10 HRs, 46 RBI, and 10 SBs this season, after going .291-.337-.461 with 15 HRs, 79 RBI and 32 SBs in 2008. Rios would play RF, with rookie Andrew McCutchen in CF and soon to be called up Lastings Milledge to play LF, giving the Pirates a young and solid defensive outfield.