Sept. 30, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano (12) prior to the game against Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Alfonso Soriano: Does The AL East Toll For Thee?


Anyone else glad they’re cheering for a team in the National League today? Me too.

With the finalization of the “blockbuster” deal between the Marlins and Blue Jays, the American League east now looks like an absolute wasteland of insane power hitting and crazy defense.

Namely, thanks to Toronto (the apparent sleepy giant whom knows no mercy and preys on fleeting baseball clubs.)

While I don’t claim to represent the opinions of any of the other four teams that happen to fall in to this merciless category of baseball, I can imagine they would probably be stated saying at least one of the following:

“This is like hell right? I’m dead and this is baseball operations hell.”

or

“Come on… seriously? The Blue Jays?! They don’t even have hockey sticks”

or even

“Knew I should have called those damned Marlins sooner”

All jokes aside, the Sox, Yankees, Orioles and Rays probably should get on their high horse and try to sign some bats up for cheap, ASAP. Suddenly, there’s a market for Alfonso Soriano.

It took perfect storm conditions for the BJ’s GM Alex Anthopoulos to make a deal of such magnitude, and it could take perfect storm conditions for teams to consider Soriano for their lineups. It’s the Hurricane Sandy of baseball, ladies and gents.

Soriano’s numbers back his success at the plate in 2012 with a 121 OPS+ and a 4.0 WAR. Not to mention a healthy 32 HR tally and 108 RBI on the season put him in as a strong bat that could easily slot in to this now “cold-war-esque” battle of the AL East. While he’s getting a little old (36 years) his defense is still sharp committing only 1 error in the entirety of 2012. Would he be a viable left fielder in such a competitive division? Likely not because of his somewhat-reoccurring knee problems, but luckily a DH position may be right up his alley.

Sounds dandy. How come the Cubs’ phone isn’t ringing off the hook?

The answer, as usual, is price.

Soriano is inked up for a ludicrous contract and will make $18 million a season all the way until 2014. This is some pretty obscene money, and we can all give Jim Hendry a pat on the back for that precious gem of a deal… *grumble*

The only viable way Soriano leaves Chicago is if the Cubs are willing to eat a significant portion of his contract in order to make his asking price more attractive to other teams and the odds of this happening are pretty slim due to the rebuild taking place in Chicago right now. The Cubs have deep pockets, could use Soriano’s leadership and work ethic as a guide for young players and may just hold on to him for the remainder of his contract on principle. This gives the Cubs a little more “spine” in the market, and shows they wont be pushed around by circumstance.

It would take a pretty nutty team (other than the Blue Jays who have essentially blown all their cash) to take on Soriano’s contract as is.  You can pretty much rule Boston out as well considering their moves with the Dodgers last season. Would the Rays, Yankees or Orioles take a stab at Soriano? The smart money is on no.

It’s a nifty thought, but sadly one without substance when all options are exhausted.

Soriano is a Cub… for now.

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Tags: 2012 Alfonso Soriano Chicago Cubs Miami Marlins Toronto Blue Jays