There are several repeating themes that tend to occur during any particular Chicago Cubs’ off-season. There is almost always criticism of the Chicago Cubs’ Front Office, there is a negative reaction to one specific move that the team made during the winter, and trade rumors involving left fielder Alfonso Soriano remain existent throughout the entirety of the off-season.
It did not take too long for trade rumors regarding Alfonso Soriano to surface. While no specific Major League Baseball team has yet to express interest in the Cubs’ left fielder, on Wednesday, Soriano admitted that he would be willing to waive his no trade clause if the Cubs were not ready to compete for the World Series title by 2014. The 36 year old Soriano indicated that he would like at least one more opportunity at winning the World Series.
This would be why trading Soriano is proving to be a diffcult task. Since the day when the first trade rumor surfaced about the Cubs looking to trade the veteran left fielder, Soriano’s back-and-forth stance regarding his no trade clause has made it hard to determine what his true intentions are. Take Wednesday for instance. Soriano indicated that he would like one more attempt at winning a World Series title, and would seek a trade from the Cubs if the team is not ready to compete by 2014. Soriano could have had an opportunity for a World Series title this season. It was Soriano who rejected a trade that would have sent him to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, might I remind you, held off the Los Angeles Dodgers and are the National League West division champions. But Soriano forewent his opportunity with the Giants because of the San Francisco weather. Soriano realizes he may be a hot commodity this off-season, and says that he will have time to think about any trade he is involved in and see if he is on the same page with the Cubs’ front office.
“I have a lot of time to think about it,” Soriano said. “I’m ready to see my name in a lot of rumors, but we’ll see what they want and what they can do. I hope that we can be on the same page and see what happens.” ESPN Chicago
The biggest reason why Soriano figures to be a popular name in Major League Baseball trade rumors is because of the re-birth of his career that he had during the 2012 season. Not only did Soriano hit over 30 home runs and drive in over 100 RBIs, but the left fielder also had his best defensive season since moving to the outfield if not of his entire career. Not only had Soriano been a role model for his teammates on the field, he has also emerged as a leader to the Cubs’ youth movement. Chicago Cubs’ President Theo Epstein realizes that Soriano does have significant value to the Cubs, which is why the Cubs are not going to trade Soriano for the sole purpose of making a trade.
“I think if teams pursue him in a trade we will consider it and see if it makes our future better and makes us a better organization going forward,” Epstein said. “But he’s got value to us because he helps us win games, he provides protection in the lineup, and he’s a great example for our younger players to follow in the clubhouse.” ESPN Chicago
Soriano has two years on his contract, and sounds like a player who may be looking to retire once his current contract expires. During those two seasons, Soriano will earn $36 million. That has always been the most prominent roadblock to trading Soriano. Which is why many reporters would laugh if they were asked whether or not the Cubs would be able trade Soriano. The Cubs will certainly be able to trade Soriano this winter. While $36 million is a lot of money to pay to a player who will be 37 in January, Soriano proved this season that he is still very much capable of being one of the top offensive run producers in all of baseball. There will be plenty of teams that are in need of the qualities that Soriano has, and for that reason, Epstein will field a lot of calls about his starting left fielder. But, Epstein will not let the trade of interfere with the direction of the organization. Meaning, the Cubs will have to ensure that by trading Soriano, they would acquire a prospect or two that will further their rebuilding process.
Cubs fans have long waited for the day that Soriano has been traded, now, it would seem like they would be willing to wait and let Soriano play out his contract with the Cubs.