If the Chicago Cubs fall out of contention early in the season Alfonso Soriano is open to a trade. “I want to go somewhere where I’d feel comfortable,” Soriano said Monday. Well, since “if” is most likely to turn into “when” pretty quickly, then the slugger’s days in Chicago are undoubtedly numbered.
Now, the Cubs surely have to pick up some of his massive contract that’s left if they ship him out, but it would be worth it to free up some room heading into next off-season. Whoever gets him is investing a couple of years into an aging strikeout machine, but he does still have quite a bit of pop in his bat and can help a team in the short term. The Cubs, on the other hand, are in rebuilding mode so ditching the final piece of the 2008 team would be the last step into a new era of Cubs baseball.
It will also open the door for prospects like Brett Jackson to get more playing time in the second half of the season, to show what he can really do and build confidence in the future of the franchise. If things don’t work out and there’s minimal improvement from the younger players on the team in Soriano’s absence, then at least the organization will have the money to go fishing in free agency for some help. It’s a weak market coming up next year, but it could still be of some benefit.
Don’t count on a trade happening right away, it will most likely be close to the deadline, but if one team is willing to pay a huge chunk of his salary to make a payoff push, it would help them as well as the Cubs.
Korey Beckett is a baseball writer for RantSports.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.