It’s just not Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs without the occasional Alfonso Soriano trade rumor, no?
To be fair, buzz on the team’s long and arduous quest to move their left fielder (and the $36 million attached to him through 2014) has been relatively quiet thus far, even when the New York Yankees lost left fielder Curtis Granderson to an unfortunate hit-by-pitch.
Luckily for Soriano trade rumor fans (otherwise known as Cubs fans), there may be another MLB team ready to provide that missing “presence”:
Cubs feel the presence of teams watching Alfonso Soriano but no substantive talks have taken place yet. Phillies and Yankees on radar.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) March 15, 2013
Okay, so that’s really about as vague as a rumor could get, but … at least there is a team on the radar, right? I’d hesitate to call it ‘teams’ after the Yankees signed Brennan Boesch as a patchwork solution, but the Philadelphia Phillies could be legitimately in the mix.
After all, the two teams had already talked about a trade for the 37-year old veteran in the off-season, and given that the Philllies’ core are all getting up there in age, you’d think Soriano would fit right in.
There’s no way that Philadelphia is going to consider trading Domonic Brown in such a deal now, considering that the former can’t miss prospect is crushing the ball in spring.
But, that does open up the availability of fellow prospect Darin Ruf, who is just about MLB-ready.
He would still be considered a pretty good get by the Cubs, especially when the main thing the team is looking at is ridding themselves from the responsibility of Soriano’s contract over the next two seasons.
That Soriano is coming off a 4.0 fWAR season in 2012 (easily his best in four years) may help, and I would imagine that Philadelphia’s interest will largely hinge on Delmon Young‘s health and performance when he returns in late April.
Soriano might still be stuck on the Cubs for now, and I’d imagine he’d be there on Opening Day; but hey, at least there may still be some light at the end of the tunnel — or at least a presence (whatever that means), anyway.