How to best handle Soriano
Steve Phillips explains how he would deal with Alfonso Soriano's refusal to move to the outfield if he were Nationals GM Jim Bowden.
The Nationals probably should have known that this could happen. Soriano had made it pretty clear in the past that he wanted to remain at second base. He correctly believes his production stacks up better in comparison to other second basemen than to outfielders. In other words, he made more money in arbitration as a second baseman and likely will get more money as a free agent at second, too.
But general managers take chances sometimes when they are trying to put a championship team together. Nationals GM Jim Bowden recognized Soriano's extraordinary power and the major need he would fill on his power-starved team. Bowden also correctly recognized that Soriano's skills are better suited to play left field. When Bowden wasn't granted permission to talk to Soriano before the deal was consummated, he took a chance that he would be able to get Soriano to see the light. Unfortunately for him, that was a miscalculation.