Can the Cubs really trade Soriano? Can they afford not to?

When I first heard the suggestion that the Cubs should trade Soriano, I let out a big guffaw.  No way, I thought.  Who's going to want to take on that kind of contract?  Now with word out that the Cubs are willing to pay "a high percentage" of Alfonso Soriano's salary the idea doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore.  There are multiple teams out there looking for a hitter.  With Houston's reportedly prohibitive asking price for Hunter Pence and Aramis Ramirez not willing to budge yet on his no trade clause, teams don't have a lot of choices. There's Carlos Beltran and perhaps Melky Cabrera, who's having a career year, then there's....well, not much.  Some of the names being thrown about are BJ Upton, Ryan Ludwick, Jeff Francouer,  and Johnny Gomes --not exactly muderer's row.

Let's compare the players side by side

BJ Upton:  .234/.316/.407

Ryan Ludwick: .244/.309/.384

Jeff Francouer .264/.310/.448

Jonny Gomes .215/.338/.407

Alfonso Soriano .249/.291/.445

Of this group, the highest isolated power belongs to Gomes and Soriano, even though Soriano has slumped.  ZIPS projects the Cubs slugger with the highest ISO% in this group for the rest of the season.  And even though Gomes has a respectable OBP of .338, if you're looking for a hitter, do you really want a guy who hits .215 as the "hitter" to put you over the top?  Granted, in his defense, his BABIP is a pretty low .259 and you should expect that average to go up by year's end.

Jeff Franceour has better slash numbers than Soriano at this point, and BJ Upton is the best runner...so they have an edge on Soriano in that respect but really, of any of these guys on the list above, who is the one guy who is capable of putting his team on his back for a stretch and making the biggest impact?  It's Soriano.  As a bat, I see him as the only real potential difference maker of the group.  From what we've seen in April, he's still capable of being a dominant player for short stretches.

Then you have to think about the team most interested in Soriano, the Yankees.  Soriano has been there before -- the pennant races, the playoffs.   He's played under that intense pressure in NY and thrived.

If he goes to the AL to DH as expected if a trade happens, the only hang up with Soriano is salary.  If the Cubs are willing to pay a high percentage of that then that eliminates that worry as well.   What's more, the Cubs won't ask for as much in return in terms of players.  He'll be cheaper in that respect than Beltran, Cabrera, Upton, and even Franceour.

For the Cubs this is about ridding themselves of a major roadblock.  Forget salary, that's a sunk cost at this point.  The biggest benefit to trading Soriano won't be saving a lot of money, or the player they get back, it's about allowing the Cubs to trot out a younger, more athletic, better defensive player in the outfield next year and for the years to come...whether that player turns out to be Tyler Colvin, Brett Jackson, or whomever remains to be seen -- but whoever he is, he needs to play and the Cubs can't afford to have Soriano lurking in the shadows.

 

 

 

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  • Man, this would make the season a success in my eyes. I don't hate Sori either, but like you said, we need that spot opened up for either Jackson or Colvin......yesterday! To be honest, I would trade Sori, Byrd, Fuke, and Reed Mantle. Fuke to the Indians makes a lot of sense. It's a shame Seizmore can't stay healthy. He looked like he was going to be an absolute stud a few years back. Hope we can move Fuke over there, the Indians system is usually pretty fruitfull to pick from.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    If there's one trade the Cubs make you'd like them to trade off Soriano. His trade alone would make the trading period a success.

    I've heard the Fuke to the Indians rumors and it does make a lot of sense to get a lefty OBP guy now that Sizemore is out (not that he was providing OBP like his usual self anyway). In his case, you'd really like to get something back since he's gone after the season anyway. Soriano, on the other hand, is addition by subtraction at this point.

    Looks like there will be at least one open spot in the OF...I'm hoping we can make it two.

  • Agree John, trading Sori alone would make the July deadline a success. With where his game is now, and where it will likely be by the end of his deal, I don't think you will ever be able to unload it for a good prospect or without having to pay a large portion of it still, without taking back another bad contract. So you might as well do it sooner rather than later. Even if they pay all but $1 of it, thats still money that they will save. And they don't have to get anything in return at all. Just get rid of the guy & clear some room for Colvin & Jackson.

    While it would be a success if they got rid or Sori alone, I would have a fire sale & unload all the vets, with the possible exception of Pena, but would strongly consider him too knowing he is a FA at years end, & wanting to give LaHair a look as well.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    First off ChiRy, I'm hearing the Cubs are closing in on Shawon Dunston, Jr. I know you're a big fan of the draft so I figure I'd throw that out.

    I like the plan. I'm really warming up to the idea of re-signing Pena, though I also like the idea that dgedz27 brought up a few days ago to kick the tires on Jason Kubel. Doesn't have the name value, but he could be way undervalued in this first base market.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for throwing that in there, I am! Love their draft, loved the way they took high ceiling guys with at least 1 exceptional trait. It shows me that they are commited to providing resources for the minors, & that will pay huge dividends down the line, especially if they do this every year, and continue the international scouting as well. Your minor league system is your foundation. I love their draft & hope they can sign as many picks as possible. Scott would be the next tough one to sign, and I'd still like to finalize Vogelbach. Not counting on Maples at all, but I'd take being pleasantly surprised.

    BTW, love the new, or old, threaded comments. Once again will have to take a sec to get used to though :)

    I think you have to give yourself & your fans a hot @ Pujols & Prince if you are the Cubs, but Pena would be plan C. If you like Kubel that's good enough for me! Plan D, there you go. Please, give me the scouting report.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm digging the new threaded comments. Makes it much easier for commenters to respond to each other, debate, add on, etc.

    Kubel is 6', 210 lbs and 29 years old. He's a lefty hitter and has murdered righties in his career, although this year he started playing more against lefties and hit them a bit better than he had in the past. Unfortunately he's been hurt this year and has missed a lot of time. He's always been thought of as a talented hitter but he's been a bit of a late bloomer. I wouldn't sign him long term...2 years would be ideal. I'd say on average you can expect about a .275 avg. with about 20+ dingers...no great shakes, but not a bad fallback if the price gets too high on other players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Love the Gretzky signing, and now Shawon Dunston Jr. close to signing! Thanks for the updates on the signings, love it! The Cubs are reminding me of my favorite college basketball team, Michigan. Loading up on the kids of former star players. For those not familiar with Michigan's squad, they rock Tim Hardaway Jr, John Horford(Tito's son, and Al's little brother), Joe Dumars Jr., and their #1 recruit for 2012 is Glenn Robinson III. Too bad for the Cubs, there isn't a Steve Trout Jr out there. Can't ever have enough drunk lefties with bad ass sunglasses to trot out there every fifth day ; )

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    Steve Trout Jr., oh man that's funny!

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    I've actually met Steve Trout twice, but both times over 25 years ago. Was just a pimply teen back then.

    If there's one thing I hope that got instilled in both Dunston and Gretzky is their father's work ethic. And in Shawon's case, I hope he did not inherit his father's infamous lack of patience.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We had some doozies on that staff. Dick Ruthven, Tim Stoddard, George Frazier....kind of miss the old days of baseball, when a lot of the guys resembled professional bowlers rather than body builders.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    LOL! I do remember..what about Dick "Dirt" Tidrow? The man had some awesome
    'staches. Then there was Paul Reuschel with the thick-rimmed glasses. He and Rick needed one more brother to make baseball's version of the Hanson brothers.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's fantastic! That was the sweet stache era, the cop mustache was all the rage back then. Steve Lake, Gary Woods, and of course Ron Cey had nice staches going too. ...On a side note, atta boy Sori, up that trade value!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's fantastic! That was the sweet stache era. Everyone wanted to rock the sweet cop mustache. Steve Lake, Gary Woods, and of course Ron Cey all had nice staches working! On a side note....atta boy Sori, way to up that trade value!

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    Wouldn't it be great for Soriano to get on one of those hot streaks right now? Perfect timing.

    Gary Woods! My favorite Gary Woods story is how Steve Carlton put him on his all-time toughest out list. Woodsy lit him up for some reason. I think the other 4 guys on the list were Hall of Famers...well, I think one of them was Pete Rose, who statistically is a Hall of Famer anyway. I was looking for that Carlton list earlier this year when I did my favorite all time Cubs reserve outfielders list but couldn't find it. It was on some USA Today list or something.

  • Remind me again, when is the deadline to sign draft picks?

    Also, remind me again who is the latin prospect who turns 16 in about 4 days? Are you hearing anything on who the teams are with the inside track? Have the Cubs added anyone recently, since their first 3?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Aug. 15th is the deadline...

    The Latin prospect is a Venezuelan RHP named Mauricio Silva. He's already 6'2" and has been clocked as high as 93 mph. Haven't heard anything new on him.

    I'm going to have to dig around to find a list. I know they haven't signed any more of the top 40 prospects since then, but hopefully they have signed some under the radar Starlin Castro/Carlos Marmol types!

  • Are you planning on doing a Pat Gillick post? What are your thoughts about that possibility?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I was actually going to until Ricketts flat out denied it. I put it on the back burner. But the rumors haven't died yet, so I'll see what I can find out.

    I'm lukewarm on the thought because it's going to have to depend on the next move. Gillick and Hendry are reportedly friends (Who isn't Hendry friends with? I think I'd like to have a beer with him.) So it may mean that Hendry is staying. I really do think the Cubs should work toward a new school approach and both those guys are old school. It's either Gillick and a new GM, or bump Hendry up and get a new GM...not sure I want them together, though.

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    The day the Cubs signed Soriano I thought it was a mistake, and I predicted they would regret it sooner rather than later. I knew they would end up eating much of that contract. That free agent class wasn't a very good one anyways, which is why Soriano and Carlos Lee got the contracts they got, but at least the Astro had the good sense to only sign Lee through 2012. They both ended up getting the same amount in terms of $/yr. Had the Cubs had that much sense, trading Soriano would be a lot easier now.

    Trading Soriano really does come down to the Cubs' willingness to eat enough of the contract that another team would feel comfortable enough to acquire him knowing they can release him down the road without having to eat to much of it themselves, and there isn't an across the board answer to that. It really depends on the team. The Yankees or the Red Sox can afford to eat more of it. Other possible suitors can't. or are less likely to want to. Anyway it goes, the Cubs can expect to eat somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of the remainder of Soriano's contract, and other than salary relieve, they aren't going to get squat in return for it. They might even have to take a bad contract back in return, and if that is the case, what have they really accomplished?

    This is one of those instances where the Cubs really should think outside the box. There is more than one way to skin a deer, and if the entire goal of getting rid of Soriano is to simply free up payroll, then maybe the Cubs should seek a sit down with Soriano and his agent, Diego Bentz, to see what all options can be worked out.

    One such option would be to renegotiate the contract to allow the Cubs and/or any interested team to pay Soriano his money plus interest over a number of years. There is precedent for this.

    The Mets and Orioles did it with Bobby Bonilla several years ago. He is still on their books through 2037. The Mets pay him $1.2M and the Orioles pay him $500,000 annually in principle and interest. Such a renegotiation would give the Cubs and any team wanting to acquire Soriano more flexibility, and it would probably get the Cubs a better player in return. However, such a renegotiation wouldn't have to necessarily be part of a trade. The Cubs could offer Soriano such a deal in exchange for his outright release. Soriano might find the prospect of being a free agent again enticing because he would still be getting his money from the Cubs.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I loved the signing...hated the amount of years on the deal. At the time, Soriano was a star, coming off a 5.3 WAR season (making his value worth about $20M/yr back then). The next year with the Cubs he had a 7 WAR year...which was worth about $28.7M. The first three years of the contract he was actually worth the money...in fact, he was worth more than what the Cubs paid him if you go by those metrics. He had so much surplus that even after the 4th year, the contract was a win overall for the Cubs. But it should have ended there. It should have been a 4 year deal...but hindsight is always 20/20. If he would have led the Cubs to a title in '07 or '08, I would say it would have been worth it for even the whole 8 years! But it didn't happen...but 2008 was a lot of fun until the playoffs.

    I think the Cubs should structure a payment where they pay more toward the end of the deal, so that a team can release him before the 4 years are up with little consequence. If I'm dealing for Soriano, that's what I would want, the flexibilty to cut ties easily and as cheaply as possible.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think in 2007 he hit like 12 homers in September too, literally carried us to the playoffs. The 8 years is the mystery to everyone, man that was silly considering the guy was like 30-31 at the time. Whatever they can do, I hope they do it. We need Colvin and Jackson playing everyday. I absolutely hate young guys spending any time in AAA. A, AA, then up to the big club. I don't mind Jackson and Flaherty being there for a few weeks before trades are made, but that's about it. If your prospects don't fit into your plans, then do a Garza type deal. I was so happy when we finally actually did something useful with our prospects.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    Rumor has it that it wasn't Hendry who gave him the extra years...that it was done by some higher ups. Considering Hendry has never given anybody else more than 4-5 years, I tend to give it some credence. Always have to be suspicious when a steady pattern is suddenly broken...

    Soriano was exceptional in 2007...just a great player and worth every penny at the time. Even his defense played well because of his deadly accurate arm.

    I totally agree about trading prospects. They can't all be useful and not all of them will pan out, so when you can get a young major league budding star, you have to do it. The Cubs gave up a lot, but they gave up from depth. They traded Chirinos, but had Soto, Castillo, and Clevenger. They traded Guyer, but they had Jackson, Colvin, and Szczur...and now Golden. As for Lee, his best value is at SS, and he's not going to move Castro off of their any time soon. And when it comes to 2b, the Cubs have a handful of young players that can play there (Barney, Flaherty, LeMahieu, Watkins, DeVoss). And Chris Archer? The Rays will be lucky if he's near as good as Garza is now...he looks like he'll be a power righty out of the pen, and lord knows we have enough of those already! I'm all for trading prospects that's a big part of their value, but you have to trade from depth. And the Cubs did exactly that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's not a rumor. It was reported at the time of the signing that new team president John McDonough added both years and dollars per year.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    Do you have a link to that report? I'd love to read it. It certainly smells like a McDonough move. Too bad the Cubs couldn't send Soriano to Switzerland like the Hawks did with Huet.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    WAR aside, in Soriano in the winter of 2006/2007, we were still talking about a guy who struck out way to much and didn't walk enough to make up for it. You are also talking about a guy who was already on the wrong side of 30, and may well have been well on the wrong side of it, depending on who you believe. Then there is the fact that his agent had Hendry bidding against himself in both terms of time and money. There simply wasn't another team out there that was willing to give Soriano that amount of years or money. The Cubs jumped head first in with no thoughts to the consequences in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle when others were passing on Soriano. This should have thrown up a red flag, Hendry didn't do his homework on Soriano anymore than he did it on Milton Bradley.

    You are right though. It's all about how the Cubs structure it, and at this point, I think it will take something along the lines of what the Mets and Orioles did with Bonilla.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The age has more to do with the number of years he got more than the average dollars If Soriano would have gotten half that contract, 4 yrs/70M, it would have been a fair deal. It's the last 4 years that was a killer...and as I've been saying for awhile, I don't believe it was Hendry who added those years. Rumor has it that it came from people above him who wanted a star and a winning team to help increase the value of the franchise (it's even been said that Hendry was on a plane unaware when the Cubs upped the ante and gave him the extra years). Hendry has made a whole lot of mistakes, from Bradley to the Zambrano extension to Fukudome and more...but I'm not convinced we can pin Soriano on him. At least not all of it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    can you explain WAR? What is it good for?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Lol...Absolutely Nothing!

    WAR means wins above replacement level. It's an all-encompassing stat that factors in everything from offensive numbers, to baserunning, to defense and throwing arm, then translates them into runs produced/saved, and from there how many wins it theoretically added or subtracted to your team. A player at 0 WAR is a player that neither adds or subtracts to your team. He's called a replacement level player because you can pretty much substitute him for some Joe Schmoe off the scrap heap or the average player in your minor league system. Wins above replacement is how many more wins a player would give you than that replacement level player. In Soriano's first year, it was calculated that his production accounted for 7 extra wins vs. a replacement player...thus WAR. Now...some sites, such as Fangraphs, will assign a dollar value for each win above replacement based on market value. If each win is worth $4M, then a 7 WAR player is theoretically worth $28M (4x7M)...I hope that's clear and doesn't sound too rambling!

  • John, I think you described WAR well. But just in case: http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/

  • In reply to Brandon:

    Thanks! And thanks for the link...Fangraphs definitely sets the standard for baseball metrics. I also like James Fegan's glossary at White Sox Observer...even though he's a Sox fan ;)

  • Unfortunately John, trading is a pipe dream. As much as I would like it to happen, his contract is too big and obscene....like a giant Rush Limbaugh. I think we are stuck with him....damn you John McDonough !!

  • In reply to rodeosteve:

    I see you brought up the name McDonough...interesting. He seems to be the guy in the middle of all this. He's a marketing guy first and foremost and the Soriano signing has his fingerprints on it.

    That may stir some debate, because McDonough is a hero to Blackhawks fans, but think about it...in both cases he was brought in to create excitement in a moribund franchise. What was the first thing McDonough did upon landing his job with the Hawks? He signed Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell to ridiculous contracts which later came back to haunt them. Luckily for him the Hawks had plenty of young talent to overcome it and win a title before the deals started to look bad. He's also doing the same things now, signing current players to long-term extensions. The thing is, it worked out for the Blackhawks but the same sort of plan fell just a little short with the Cubs. The difference between hero and goat was just a few more wins...except in the Cubs case the goat label was placed entirely on Hendry. No doubt he's bungled some things up and had his own hands in some of this, but I really don't think he deserves all the blame...especially on Soriano.

    A lot of similarities between McDonough's m.o. with both the Cubs and the Hawks? Coincidence?

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    Does it really matter? If it wasn't Hendry's doing, then Hendry, as the supposedly wise baseball man, had a duty to stand up and say, "NO!," but he didn't, which means he is a "YES" man. I say this with some conviction because this is how the baseball people on ESPN Radio and MLB Radio describe him when questioned about the Cubs. The best thing any of them can say about him is that he is a really nice guy with great networking/social skills, and it is those very skills that probably convinced the Ricketts to keep him on when the club changed hands.

    The question is, if you are the Ricketts, "Do you want someone who always tells you what they think you want to hear running your team?" We are going to find out in less than three months.

    My hope is that Dave Kaplan, as he expressed in his article today on the CSN site, is right, and that the Ricketts are much more in the know than they let on. They just like playing their cards close to the vest. I can see not making a move in regards to the front office during the season. It would make little sense to have an interim GM if your intent was to go after Brian Cashman, Andrew Friedman or Billy Beane. About the only thing you could do which would make any sense is to bring in a baseball guy to be the President as has been suggested Pat Gillick might be up for. This would allow whomever that person might be to evaluate those under Hendry up close and personal, and he would be ready to hit the ground running in search of a new GM the moment the season was over.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Hendry didn't have a lot of leverage...and rumor has it that he didn't even have a chance to say no. The rumor was they did it while he was on the plane on the way to the meetings. If that's true, it's a bit of a power move, if you ask me. But there is some truth to what you say. I see Hendry as something of a people pleaser, a nice guy...and too often that has come back to bite him.

    Think about McPhail and why he suddenly resigned and left Hendry in charge. McPhail is a fiscal conservative and there was no way he was going to spend that kind of money on free agents. But McPhail was an established guy...it wouldn't have been as easy for Hendry to walk away.

    I did actually have a chance to talk to Ricketts and he spoke to me briefly off the record about his philosophy toward building a team. I was impressed, and I think you would have been as well. He knows baseball, he knows the new business of baseball...I'm optimistic going forward that things are going to be done differently now.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    "Does it really matter? If it wasn't Hendry's doing, then Hendry, as the supposedly wise baseball man, had a duty to stand up and say, "NO!," but he didn't, which means he is a "YES" man. I say this with some conviction because this is how the baseball people on ESPN Radio and MLB Radio describe him when questioned about the Cubs."

    Hendry wasn't in a position to say no. His boss made the move. McDonough didn't make Hendry do it, McDonough just made the deal himself. Hendry was an employee. He had no authority to veto Mcdonough's decision.
    I'm sure Hendry gave his opinion, but it was not his decision. Ultimately, when you work for someone else, it is your job to do what they want?
    You may disagree with the boss... but he's still the boss.

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    I'll be impressed when I see him doing something I actually agree with. I really think he should have cleaned house when he took over, although I understand why he didn't. He didn't have the full picture until he got there, and he probably wanted to give the people who were already in the front office a chance to prove they deserved to keep their jobs, but I can't get over the fact that Sandy Alderson is running the Mets now and not the Cubs. However, I could be persuaded to get over it with some good moves.

    All I can say is what I would if I were in Rickett's shoes. I want a baseball guy to be the President of Baseball Operations, and I'm not picking anyone who has no use for statistical analysis. He doesn't have to be completely new school. Frankly, I think the best approach is a 50/50 approach. New school tells you the guys you should be looking at. Old school looks at those guys and tells you which ones you really want. It's well known that Hendry has no use for statistical analysis. So I'm not up for any PBO who would want to keep Hendry around. I would be okay with a GM who wanted to keep Tim Wilken around though. I think he might be the only one in the front office that actually deserves to keep his job. Wilken's track record speaks for itself. It's not his fault if Flieta can't develop the athletes Wilken supplies him with.

    Now I place myself in the shoes of the chosen PBO. Who do I want to be my GM? My first calls are to Andrew Friedman and Billy Beane. Few GM's have done more with less than those two. Friedman's contract is up at the end of this season, and Beane, though he is signed through 2014, is rumored to be interested in running a team that actually has money. Both are believers in statistical analysis, and I'm just going to say that I love Oakland's policy of not promoting hitting prospects who don't draw more walks than they did the year before. I think that philosophy when combined with the enough money to actually go out and buy athletes could be a deadly combination for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I actually agree with a lot of what you say...I just think Hendry sometimes is the fall guy for everything, but that doesn't necessarily means he's blameless...and it doesn't mean he shouldn't be replaced...

    I think change has to start with Hendry...I really do. I like the guy...would like to have a beer with him and talk old school baseball scouting, but I don't see any commitment to the new metrics of baseball.

    I love the idea of Friedman. I've heard there may be some interest on the Cubs part. You'd have to think a guy like him would like to see what he could do with a little extra money to give him margin for error.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    We will have competition for Friedman though. He is from the Houston area, and it's rumored the Astros new ownership wants him to be their BPO badly, but he would be my choice as well. First, you won't have to get permission to talk to him because his contract is up. Oakland's owner might want compensation. Second, getting and keeping the Devil Rays competitive in that division is just as impressive, if not more so, than what Beane has done in Oakland. Third, it's the same basic philosophy when it comes to using statistical analysis as a tool, but I think Friedman may be better at combining the new and old school approaches to scouting and development.

    If the rumors about Friedman and the Astros are true, I think you would have to make Friedman the PBO, but I'm okay with that idea, because I think he would be very hands on, probably more so than Gillick would be at this point in his life.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'm a big proponent of using a combination of the two schools. I think teams are realizing that as well, that there's still some value to good old fashioned scouting, but you back it up with numbers whenever you can.

    Friedman is probably a long shot here, as is Beane. There's one thing I like about either of these guys is that I think they won't just talk the philosophy, it will spread down the entire system...everybody will be on the same page. And I don't really think that's something we've had here in a long time...maybe since the days of Dallas Green and Gordon Goldsberry... but don't get me started on how ownership frustrated them into resigning as well...then replaced Green with Jim stinkin' Frey.

  • interesting, on the topic of WAR, Carlos Marmol leades MLB in WAR for relief pitches with a 3.1

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    In reply to ChiRy:

    Marmol should be traded while he still has some value. It is ridiculous to a closer, $8M in 2012 and $10M in 2013 in salary and bonuses, that kind of money on a team that is losing and isn't going to win anytime soon. The closer is the most overrated position in all of baseball, just as the save is the most overrated statistic.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think it's extremely overrated for a losing team, but last year's Sox showed that an ineffective closer can hurt your chances. They were right in the thick of things when Jenks and everyone else started blowing games late...completely demoralized them and knocked them out of the race.

    That being said, Marmol is a fancy hood ornament on a Pinto right now and it's a shame the Cubs won't even consider trading him considering what they could get back from a contending team in need (the Phillies have been willing to part with Singleton in the right deal). They have plenty of power righty relievers who have the potential to close...it's disappointing they won't even consider it. Soto is another guy I would consider trading when Castillo is having such a monster year and has better natural skills behind the plate, particularly his arm. He'll be 30 by the times are ready to contend and nearing free agency.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think you meant for last year? 3.1 is a great number for a reliever...he had a phenomenal year last year.

  • "Forget salary, that's a sunk cost at this point."

    I couldn't figure out why teams would pay another team to have a player play for the other team.

    However, in this case, I always contended that Ricketts (being an investment banker) did his due diligence when he bought the team, and the price offered to the Tribune Co. was based, in part, on a discount based on liabilities reflected by these bad contracts. If that's the case, he already figured out the cost of getting rid of Bradley/Silva and Soriano before offering $850 mil. instead of $1 bil. So, holding onto Soriano would just hurt the future gate.

  • In reply to jack:

    It's lost money. You're paying 18M to a guy who's performing like a $4-5M player. So what you do is you throw someone out there...say, Tyler Colvin, for example, and you're paying him close to the minimum salary. You would think Colvin could put up similar numbers to Soriano if he plays everyday (.250, 15 Hrs), perhaps even better, and he he would certainly be better defensively. So if you trade Soriano and pay, say, $13M of his salary and then insert Colvin and pay his salary of less than a million, you wind up paying slightly less than $14M for your leftfielder (13M to pay off Soriano and $1M for Colvin)...so if Colvin gives you equal or better production, you're pretty much saving $4M/yr, perhaps more instead of paying Soriano $18M to do the same thing.

  • I think if there actually was a team willing to pay Soriano $4 mil per year for the next 3 years, he would already be gone. If he was a free agent after this season, he likely doesn't get a multi-year deal from anyone... and he wouldn't get $4 million per.

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