Normally I wouldn’t publish a column based solely on one quote, but it’s one of fairly significant importance.
Jed Hoyer, during a press conference, spoke about his thoughts on Alfonso Soriano. Hoyer was quoted saying:
His preparation is off the charts. I think a dozen players in baseball went 30 homers and 100 RBI (last season). What we got in our first year was terrific. He knows how we feel about him. We’ve had communication with him over the course of the Winter. We’ll keep having that communication. But all of our thoughts on Sori are positive. He was so good for us last year, both on and off the field. It wasn’t necessarily exactly what we expected going in. It was just a wonderful revelation for us.
Clearly Hoyer still has some love for Soriano based on his work ethic and his attitude, but there’s no real set indication that the brass are hell bent on keeping him. This sounds like a quote from a GM who is trying to maintain value for a player while still making him feel welcome and motivated to play in Chicago next season.
If Soriano were to be moved, it would leave a rather large hole in left field and in the Cubs’ offense. He was the clear offensive MVP last season, but a lot of that had to do with the lack of production the Cubs. If you want my take? I believe the Soriano will be the starting left fielder for the Cubs on opening day but is certainly subject to a trade at any moment. Most teams will likely want to see him in action at least one more time considering his age and his knee issues.
Soriano certainly still have value to the club and Hoyer recognizes that. It will take a good, young return for the Cubs to make a deal for him, not to mention a team that is willing to take some of Soriano’s salary in stride.