The Chicago Cubs are actively shopping Alfonso Soriano. Normally there would be plenty of MLB rumors floating around a player coming off a 32-homer, 108 RBI season, especially if the Cubs are willing to pick up a large portion of the paycheck over the next two seasons. So what exactly is the hold up and where, if anywhere will Soriano end up?
One problem with Soriano is he is expensive with two-years and $36 million still left on his contract. He is also an aging player who will be 37-years-old by the time he reports somewhere for Spring Training. The Cubs have called the Philadelphia Phillies about a possible swap for Dominic Brown but that deal seems like it might not interest the Phillies too much at this time.
The Cubs have also called the Houston Astros about sending Soriano to Houston as a DH as Houston prepares for the American League West. However, Houston doesn’t have the money to invest in Soriano, even with the Cubs picking up the majority of the bill.
So where will Soriano end up? Well, if he isn’t on the Cubs come Opening Day he could find himself back in the American League. The Baltimore Orioles might see Soriano as an upgrade at DH who can sometimes play left field and add pop to a lineup that just lost Mark Reynolds.
If this were a normal year the New York Yankees might make sense. In fact, the Yankees still do, even with their desire to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold by the 2014 season. However, with several holes that will need to be filled and the prospect of even more holes opening up next season, the Yankees might see a bargain in Soriano if the Cubs are willing to pick up a large portion of the check.
It is an unlikely reunion but one that makes some sense for the Yankees. It is obvious that Soriano has a little life in his bat and he has experience playing in New York and in the postseason there. Why not take the chance if most of the financial risk is being picked up by the Cubs?
I admit this is unlikely but it is possible and one thing I have learned is never count the Yankees out of anything, especially when another team will be picking up the check. If Soriano is still a member of the Cubs around the deadline and the Yankees offense needs a boost and Soriano is playing at a level similar to the end of last season then I wouldn’t rule it out.