Is your favorite team in search of right handed run producer before the trade deadline passes on Tuesday? Well, if so, how does a .274/.324/.507/.832 hitting line to go along with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs sound? Those are the numbers that Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano has produced this season, and that is likely how Cubs’ President Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer begin any discussion that would involve potentially trading Soriano.
The Cubs have been trying to rid themselves of Soriano for a majority of the past two seasons. Though, with a new regime in place, the idea that Soriano NEEDS to be traded has been downplayed. This could be a result of the fact that Soriano has responded impressively to the new regime change. Whether it was Epstein, Hoyer or manager Dale Sveum, Soriano the level of performance we have seen out of the left fielder this season hasn’t been this high since he first signed his 8 year, $136 million contract with the Cubs prior to the 2007 season. Soriano is on pace to hit 31 home runs and drive in 99 RBIs.
Of course, the issue with Soriano is the fact that the left fielder is still owed $44 million for the remainder of the 2o12 season, the 2013 season, and the 2014 season. That has always been the sticking point when it would come to the Cubs’ ability to trade Soriano. But with Soriano finding the fountain of youth this season with the Cubs, it has opened up the possibility that a contending team will bite on Soriano if the Cubs eat the right amount of money from Soriano’s contract. The right amount could be somewhere around 90% of the remaining contract, meaning the Cubs would have to absorb approximately $40 million. The Cubs’ hope is that by doing so, it may entice a team to offer more than a fringe prospect.
Teams have shown interest in Soriano, though it may not be the teams that you were expecting. According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have inquired on Soriano. Now, that may not be saying much as just about every teams inquire on just about every player at some point during the season. Though, this is not the first time that the Dodgers have been mentioned as suitor for Soriano. Even though the Dodgers already landed Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins, reports indicate that they are still in search of offensive run production. The likes of Ken Rosenthal and CBS Sports have reported that the Cubs and Dodgers have had discussions about Soriano, including one scenario that would have sent starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and Soriano to the Dodgers. The kicker is that it may be the Cubs who do not want to pull the trigger on the Soriano trade, as with only $36 million left on Soriano’s contract after this season, the Cubs’ front office may deem it more valuable to trade Soriano after the season.
Though, in all honesty, if the Cubs’ front office is approached with an enticing offer for Soriano it seems likely that the Cubs’ front office would pull the trigger on the trade. Like Dempster, Soriano also has 10 and 5 rights on top of his initial no trade clause. Meaning Soriano will have to approve any deal that he is a part of. Soriano has repeatedly said that he would approve any trade as long as it is a right fit for him. Though, Soriano has also said that he would not block the team’s effort to move him if in fact that is what the teams wants to do.