As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Rangers' acquisition of right fielder Alex Rios, his name once again floats amongst trade deadline discussions.
The 33-year-old has switched teams late in the year twice during his career. Each move has happened after baseball's July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but swirling rumors and speculation before the deadline on a new destination are old hat for Rios this time around.
'I don't mind it,' Rios said. 'I've been through it a few times now, it's just more of the same. If something is going to happen, it could happen now or in August. I feel the same way.'
Of course, trade talks are old hat for most veterans who have seen several July 31s come and go in Major League Baseball.
'You get used to it, especially around this time of year,' said shortstop Elvis Andrus, who is in his sixth season. 'We know about how the season has gone so far, and there's going to be more talk about specific guys.'
While the prospect of relocating and moving to a new city are on Rios' mind, he said he doesn't let trade talks become a distraction from his play on the field.
His .321 batting average in the month of July would suggest he isn't just blowing smoke.
While Rios would prefer to keep buttoning up a No. 51 Rangers jersey and trotting to right field at Globe Life Park, he understands the situation at the deadline.
'We like what we do and personally I do enjoy it,' he said. 'But at the end of the day it's just like any corporation. The business side of things is something I don't have to control.'
Andrus, who hits in front of Rios in the Ranger batting order, was traded to Texas at the deadline in the Mark Teixeira deal in 2007.
'It's not a good feeling, especially when you're comfortable and in an organization you feel like is your family,' he said.
Rios has a partial no-trade clause in his contract that would block trades to Kansas City, Arizona, Houston, Colorado, Oakland and Wednesday's opponent, the Yankees. That leaves 24 teams that could land Rios.
Of those 24 teams, the ones most interested in Rios' contract, which includes a team option for 2015, will likely be contenders. Rios has never played in the postseason, and said experiencing that would be nice.
But he hopes to stay in Arlington, where he made it to Game 163 a year ago.
Andrus said he hopes Rios isn't dealt, because he means a lot to a team that hopes to come back re-tooled and ready to put Rios into the postseason in 2015.
'I hope it doesn't happen, because it will hurt for sure,' Andrus said.