Alfonso Soriano speaks out against big spending in free agency

Talk about thoughts coming out of left field. You will see what I did there.

When it comes to the Cubs plan of building with youth, the front office has a big believer in their clubhouse.

 “I think how baseball has changed, how the world has changed,”  “What I see now is that the teams that have the big names, they don’t win.”

Those quotes came from Alfonso Soriano people. Soriano shared even more interesting thoughts with Gordon Wittenyer.

Soriano was talking about hitters, and pointed out that the San Francisco Giants have won two World Series in the last three years after winning zero with big-money free agents Barry Bonds and J.T. Snow or big-money Jeff Kent (who was acquired in a trade).

Even when it’s pointed out that the Giants have paid their pitchers well, Soriano points out that Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are homegrown Giants. So are starters Madison Bumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez. And even free agent Ryan Vogelsong was originally drafted by the Giants.

“They’re not free agents,’’ said a guy sounding a lot like the last of a dying breed. “If you play good at the right time, with the young guys, you can do something.

“In 2007 and 2008, we had a very good team, with veteran guys, big contracts, and we made the playoffs for two years,’’ Soriano said of a team built largely on a $300 million spending spree before the 2007 season. “After that the team [declined].’

Very interesting thoughts coming from a guy who represented the opposite of what he seems to buy into now. You have to wonder if you could bring these quotes back to 2007 and ask Soriano about them, what kind of look would he give you?

One thing is sure, Soriano has changed and he has supported the new front office from the get go. There is much irony here, and one example is that Soriano probably wont be here by the time this plan comes to fruition.

Though he doesn’t think it will be too far off.

 “But I think now with all these young guys that have all this talent, I think that we’re not far away.”



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  • With big spending teams signing FA's to long term contracts and
    other teams signing their young players to long term contracts
    after 2-3 years in the majors there will be less FA's to sign in
    future years to come. The Cubs should never sign a FA to a
    very long term contract and overpay them

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    Tom, great article! Thanks for sharing it. Certainly not stuff I expected to come from Soriano.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks Mike.

  • Buttering up and angling for a coaching job after his 130mm contract is up?

    Sarcasm aside, I feel Soriano has gone to great lengths to repair his rep and whether altruistic or not, seems to be a very good advisor to the younger prospects. I hope he plays well and finishes his career as a Cub.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Soriano has been a positive force in the clubhouse the last couple of years. His last bit of winging was when they originally switched him from leadoff to the middle of the order for good.

    And I think that he now realizes that he is better in that position now that his speed has faded.

    He's reportedly been a good influence on several of the younger players AND when healthy still hits with power and lately in the clutch.

    Just think of how many RBIs he might have had last season if there had been more base-runners on in front of him.

  • Wow! The new Soriano. He has gone from hard to like to impossible not to pull for. I don't think he was ever a bad attitude, but he has become veteran leader. I could see on the field at ST with the young guys. Good for him.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agree completely.

  • It's an odd statement coming from Soriano but at least we can say he's buying into the system, even if it will eventually lead to him leaving the organization.

    He's emerged as a leader on the team, something we didn't think would happen a few years ago.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hopefully he doesn't leave the organization.

    The leadership role he has taken with the younger players will benefit this team for many years to come. I hope the Cubs keep him around (after his playing days)
    to benefit from that leadership.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    He's a likeable guy with good leadership abilities. It'd be nice if they could find a role for him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agree 100% John. Makes me wonder now if we don't sign him for another year or two to be a p/t player and Big stick off the bench for our playoff runs in 2015/2016.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The only thing I worry about is that he doesn't have a lot of value on the field as a bench player. He isn't versatile, can't really pinch run or come in for defense. I think he'll be in the AL if he stays in the game.

  • His big contract made him a bad guy. With all the Latin/Hispanic
    players in the system he could help tutor them in some way. He
    might have great contacts in his own country.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I agree. I think people didn't like the contract and so some took it out on Soriano. I'm sure he's pretty big in the Dominican, so maybe.

  • Nice article Tom, thanks for sharing that tidbit with us.

    You gotta think that future free agents also see that the future is bright in Wrigleyville or Rosemont or where ever and maybe come here for a good chance at a ring at a somewhat reduced cost.

  • Okay, then, Fonsie. How about you do an "Andre Dawson" and give some of your contract money back to the Cubs?

  • In reply to ogyu:

    Dawson didn't give any money back to the Cubs. He gave them a blank check because, with the owners colluding, he wasn't getting any offers. If he would have been offered 8 years and $136M instead, I don't think he would have turned it down. Do you?

  • In reply to ogyu:

    Yeah Ricketts really is struggling for spending money these days.

  • I have been trying to find a website that covers the Cubbies that has up to date news, thorough articles, and one that doesn't include delusional columnists (and commenters). Someone commented on Bleacher Report about this site and recommended checking it out. This is the first article I've read but I can already see this is the site I will be following the Cubbies on all year. Nice article. It's a breath of fresh air, reading a column Pro Soriano....and then I read the commenters feedback and they provide logical and sensible feedback. I like it!

  • In reply to RipRyanFreel:

    Thanks! Please check out some of our past stuff as well and we have another interesting piece coming out a little later.

  • In reply to RipRyanFreel:

    Do yourself a favor and read some of the past articles as well. This site is really Blessed with quality writers and commenters. You won't be disappointed.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Thanks Bill!

  • In reply to RipRyanFreel:

    Thanks Rip and welcome you will like it here.

  • I have looked at many sites and this one is the best. I like its
    layout and format. Only one that true Cub fans can ask questions
    and always get a good answer.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks E!

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I agree 100 %. Best Cubs blog

  • In reply to Craig:

    Thanks Craig.

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    Interesting comments coming from Sori.

    Any possibility that he comes back after his contract is up and signs on as a bench player? He could be a big bat off the bench.

  • Is it my imagination or did Soriano have a better approach at the plate last year? It seemed that he didn't chase as many sliders a foot outside and in the dirt.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think so too. There seemed to be less of those pre-meditated swings. As far as walk rate it was the same as his career average, but much better than last year.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's not your imagination 44. He was more selective than usual.

    Still strikes out a lot,... but rarely looked bad going after unhittable pitches for a change.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    he did himself a huge favor going to the lighter bat.

  • cubs moving to rosemont, resigning Soriano, did I miss the season and only wake up in time for fantasy camp?

  • In reply to eddie35:

    Haha ;) I think you're right. Neither will happen.

  • You gotta like Soriano. Did you guys catch that a couple weeks ago, when Sveum said that Soriano was one of the top five people in baseball he had ever been around, in terms of hard worker and type of person he was. And Sveum has been a player and coach for over 30 years.

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    John, I didn't see you print the rest of his comments that included:

    "Now, as for my $136 mil, I'm keeping that. I'm not THAT crazy."

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Haha!! Great point...but can you blame him?

    Maybe he'll give some back when we see the Angels fork over $20M extra to Trout for being the best player in baseball ;)

    (This was Tom's piece by the way,)

  • That was comical hearing that come out of Alfonso, seeing how he snared THREE huge FA contracts himself. But hey, in 2012 he changed his approach to the game, did better defensively, hit the cover off the ball, and scored runs with the young kids playing along. He took Castro under his wing, teaching him how to be an adult playing a kids game. Starlin will benefit from this exposure in the long run. I like Soriano. Good guy. Hope he finishes his career here.

  • I got a good laugh out of that headline!

    It is amazing how Soriano completely flipped our opinion of him in one year. I credit the new management who obviously understands how to deal with him.

    The corollary is that I blame his previous difficulties that led us all to wish him gone on previous management.

    Whatever happens, I will be remembering him much more fondly than I ever dreamed I would.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Agreed. I wouldn't be surprised to learn later on that the change in management had a lot to do with the leader aspect. He was always a good clubhouse guy who had unfortunate injuries on a bloated contract. I think sori realized how good of a mentor he is to young ball players. He loves the game. That much is obvious. It would make me happy to see him stick around the game. Hopefully for us. Now if he could just channel 75 homers this year and slug .1000 we might win it all.

  • On top of him being a solid veteran. Alfonso's foundation has donated school supplies to thousands of children and countless toys to day cares is the Dominican over the last 6 or 7 years.

  • In reply to Nick Nesler:

    So did Sammy Sosas, his foundation virtually rebuilt the DR after hurricane Georges in 1998. Lots of the DR players actually do things to help there homeland, which I think is marvelous.

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    I wonder what Soriano's stats would have looked like 2009-11, if he had dropped to the smaller bat of 2012 (something I commented on to my cubbie friends for years)? Sure, he wouldn't have been able to earn his salary, but I think he would have outperformed his 2012 season (while healthy).

  • I have a bit of an issue with Fonzie on this. He benefitted enormously from the free agency process and now wants to criticize it. Heres where I think Fonzie should go-get the COURTS out of this matter. Owners should not be required to bid on free agents. Its there $, they pay the bills, not the stupid agents or judges who know nothing about the game. If youd direct your criticism where it belongs, Fonz, Ill be the first in line to call you a stand-up gentleman.

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