The 2012-2013 offseason has only had life for a few days, but fans of the Chicago Cubs are already bracing themselves for a dull and disappointing winter. The Cubs aren’t expected to do much, despite glaring holes all over the diamond, whether it’s in the outfield or the pitching staff.
While the additions to the Cubs are expected to be small, and in limited quantities, their highest profile move could be a departure. The rumors surrounding a potential trade of Alfonso Soriano are expected to be hot and heavy this winter, just as they have been for the past year.
Soriano had his best year as a Cub, taking all phases of the game into account. His offensive numbers weren’t eye-popping, with the exception of RBIs, which he finished in the league’s top five. Though his average was quite low and he still struck out a ton, Soriano was one of the only saving graces for this club in 2012.
Along with his bat, Soriano’s glove came along better than we had ever seen in his time on the North Side. Dave McKay did wonders in working with Soriano, who had just one error on the year. That improvement was expected to increase the interest in Soriano out on the trade market.
There will, no doubt, be interest in Soriano on the trade market. American League teams will have the heaviest interest, but his improved play in the outfield could lead a few NL teams to join in on the discussion as well. But would trading Soriano be the right move for the Cubs?
What seemed like the smart thing to do not too long ago, now doesn’t actually make sense. Soriano was one of the few players that actually performed with some sort of consistency on this ballclub last season. Would take him out of the equation make sense, or just ensure the Cubs of adding losses to the 101 they experienced this year?
The Cubs have financial flexibility, even before they move Soriano. Moving him with his deal expiring after next year doesn’t add up at this point and the return would be next to nothing.
All things considered, it makes too much sense to hold on to Alfonso Soriano, rather than to trade him. The Cubs need the veteran leadership and they especially need the offensive punch. This club would be much worse off without Soriano than they are right now, with him around.