Rafael Soriano is still a free agent, and is by far the best reliever on the market. In my opinion, Soriano is one of the best late inning guys in all of baseball and he’s looking for another monster deal. After opting out of his monster deal with the New York Yankees, and then turning down their qualifying offer, I think Soriano thought he could easily fetch another monster free agent deal. That hasn’t worked out according to plan just yet, but it doesn’t mean it won’t. This could be a prime opportunity for the Chicago Cubs to sneak in the back door and make a huge bullpen sign.
The Chicago Cubs are doing all they can to prove to the world they’re on the right track. They made a (slightly questionable) sign of Edwin Jackson to further their weak rotation last year. They’ve signed a Japanese reliever, and tried to trade for Dan Haren. Okay, so they’re not going to win anything next year as their current roster stands, but adding a guy like Soriano? Now you’re talking about being competitive because now you can pitch at both ends of the staff and you have options mid season if you want them.
Let’s just say the Cubs sign Soriano. They now can trade Carlos Marmol like they traded to do earlier this offseason if they want. They can move Marmol back into the 8th inning and let Soriano close. They can trade Soriano at the trade deadline for a pretty penny of prospects. I mean, let’s be honest here, if no team is willing to sign Soriano, why can’t the Cubs?
The farm system is certainly improving, and if you sign Soriano and then trade him, you continue furthering that agenda. Too many top prospects can lead to a monster trade for a known star (David Price anyone?), and could easily send the Cubs back up to the top of the NL Central.
Options are good to have, and Rafael Soriano could certainly give them just that.