Sunday, February 3, 2013
Soriano's not a new kid on the block
By Jason Catania
Alfonso Soriano has been on the trade block so long even Justin Upton is getting sick of hearing about it. So will Soriano be moved?
The Chicago Cubs have been looking to unload what's left of Soriano's $136 million contract -- two years and $36 million if you're keeping track at home -- but GM Jed Hoyer indicated that the likeliest scenario has the veteran reporting to Mesa, Ariz., for Cubs camp next month, per Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.
That doesn't mean Soriano hasn't drawn any interest, especially after hitting .262-32-108 last year, but one of the main complicating factors is that the outfielder has a full no-trade clause, so he has a right to veto any deal. You may recall that Soriano actually rejected a trade last season that would have sent him to the eventual World Series winners, the San Francisco Giants.
In Sunday’s Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo wrote Soriano could still be moved before spring training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute moves. Plus, as Mike Petriello of FanGraphs writes for ESPN Insider, the Cubs have a well-stocked outfield and are prepared for life after Soriano.
Two possible fits seemed to have closed off after the New York Yankees signed Travis Hafner and the Tampa Bay Rays brought back Luke Scott. But since Soriano -- better off as a DH -- is still at least capable of playing outfield, he might fit with the Orioles, who have a need for both a DH or a power bat capable of playing left field. Provided, of course, that Soriano would okay a new destination and the Cubs pick up most of the tab.
ESPN Insider Jim Bowden says Soriano's bat could bring value to a contender:
Jim BowdenSoriano's trade value
"Soriano’s giant contract remains the stumbling block, with two years left at $18 million each. Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have made it known it would be no problem to absorb that salary for decent prospects in return...A massive contract has overshadowed the fact that Soriano has been a productive hitter over the course of his deal. He’s averaged 27 home runs a year, and in 2012, Soriano even established a career high in RBIs with 108."