Chicago Cubs: How To Make A Great Soriano Trade

Chicago Cubs: How To Make A Great Soriano Trade

If anyone on the planet is really, truly, passionately praying for the world to end soon, it's Jim Hendry. After all, he's the guy that is writing checks to Alfonso Soriano that total $18M for... wait for it... three more years after 2011 ends.

The rapture might be the best hope for the Cubs to dump Soriano's salary on someone.

But there might be a way the Cubs continue hanging a Soriano jersey in the locker room, but dump a headache.

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Soriano has an on-base percentage under .300, and is the only person who could, somehow, not catch the plague. Indeed, the way he plays left field, I often expect to see him seated on a folding chair, depositing quarters and waiting for the sliding door to rise; he likes to watch.

And he's making $18,000,000.

Let's put that number into context. The Tampa Bay Rays are in first place - ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox - and their total team payroll is under $42M this year. Meanwhile, the defense we watch from Soriano makes me want to ask for a courtesy flush.

But there's a chance the Cubs could dump Soriano... for... Soriano?

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One of the biggest disappointments in baseball this year has been the New York Yankees. The offseason was a circus for the pinstripes; Derek Jeter felt disrespected by negotitions being made public, and the owners went behind the general manager's back to sign a player the team really didn't need. Now that the season has started, Jorge Posada has benched himself and Jeter has required a conference call after supporting his teammate blasting the manager.

Sound bad?

One of the perceived cancers on the roster has been the player the Steinbrenners wanted more than Brian Cashman. Rafael Soriano, who was an electric closer in Atlanta last year, signed a three-year, $35M contract... to be a set-up man for God's gift to the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera.

Since then, Soriano has become the butt of jokes and target of hatred in the Bronx. He has a 5.40 ERA, 1.733 WHIP and his strikeout-to-walk ratio has plummetted from 4.07 last year to 0.91 this year. He was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 14 with elbow inflamation, but if anything's bloated around this Soriano, it's his salary.

Meanwhile, the Yankees still have a problem with Posada. He's supposed to be their designated hitter, but he done more whining than running this season. As bad as Chicago's Soriano has been, Posada has only six home runs and 16 runs batted in to go with a .197 batting average.

The only thing Posada's been producing is soundbites.

Alfonso Soriano came up as a Yankee, and would be (as hard as this is to admit with a straight face) an upgrade at DH for New York. Rafael Soriano has been nothing but a headache, but the issues the Cubs have had with their starting pitching, having another experienced arm in the bullpen wouldn't be an awful idea.

The Cubs would have to eat money if this deal hit the table. Factoring a full salary for 2011, Alfonso has $72M left on his contract, which is more than twice what the Yankees have signed up to pay Rafael. 

Tom Ricketts has already written a check to make Carlos Silva disappear this year, which indicates that he (shockingly) might actually have the best interests of his team in mind. Would he be willing to pay $37M over four years to make Alfonso Soriano disappear? Does he have a better option?

Comments

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  • I hope this is meant to be some kind of parody, because the writer has no clue about baseball whatsoever. A little research before writing would be a good idea.

  • In reply to RobertMontgomeryQ:

    It's always appreciated when a writer is told to "get a clue" by someone who offers nothing to the conversation. Insightful comment, Robert. Thanks!

  • In reply to RobertMontgomeryQ:

    The Yankees have an upgrade for Posada at DH already. His name is Jesus Montero, and he'd cost the Yanks the league minimum. R. Soriano is owed $41 million less than Alfonso is (according to Cott's contracts, Alfonso is owed $19 million per year through 2014), and his contract expires a season earlier. There is absolutely no chance the Yankees would make this deal unless the Cubs give him away.

  • In reply to sep484:

    Funny... I just took the time to read this article and it seems to indicate that there's a salary difference and offers a solution to that problem...

  • In reply to the1tab:

    But it doesn't offer a feasible solution. The Yankees can get essentially what Soriano would offer as their DH from Montero at the league minimum. The Cubs would need to swallow far more than the difference between the salaries to entice NY.

  • In reply to sep484:

    It seems to me the Yankees could do a lot better than Alfonso Soriano to solve their DH issue. As the commenter above mentioned, Montero is a cheap, cost controlled alternative to Posada. Even if they preferred a veteran, they could still use Montero as a centerpiece to bring a player back in a trade who's both better and cheaper than Soriano.

    Unless somebody has a brain cramp the way the Angels did with Vernon Wells this offseason, we're stuck with Soriano.

  • In reply to sep484:

    Tab, you seem to have "thin skin".....

  • In reply to bambam8823:

    LOL... couldn't be further from reality, Ken. Just assume people will actually read an article they're commenting on is all.

  • In reply to bambam8823:

    Gee another "Dump Soriano" article. Slow day at the office?

  • A parody, probably not. But entertaining writing, I guess. For all his bad stats, doesn't he have like half the home runs on the team? Perhaps not anymore but for the month of April he sure did.

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