Chicago Cubs: No. 9: Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano became a lightning rod of Chicago Cubs fans’ anger when the team quickly bowed out of the postseason in 2007 and 2008 then descended quickly after that. Indeed, his massive eight-year contract that he signed before the 2007 season made him an easy target. However, when we look at the numbers, though Soriano wasn’t a superstar with the Cubs, he actually put together a nice run with the team.
Despite playing on some bad clubs, and despite already collecting his big paycheck, give Soriano credit for continuing to put in a good effort early in the 2010s. In 2010, he hit 24 home runs and drove in 79, and in 2011 he hit 26 home runs and drove in 88. However, his best year with the Cubs was during that dreadful 2012 season: He set highs for his Cubs career in home runs (32), RBIs (108), and OPS (.821). He got off to a good start with the Cubs again in 2013: In 93 games, he hit 17 home runs and drove in 51.
In the second year of their big rebuild, the Cubs were finally able to trade Soriano during the 2013 season, to the New York Yankees. Soriano played out the rest of his contract with the Yankees in 2014. Cubs fans will not remember Soriano’s time with the Cubs fondly, but the signing wasn’t a total disaster, either.