5 Potential Landing Spots For Chicago Cubs’ Slugger Alfonso Soriano
Potential Landing Spots for the Chicago Cubs Slugger
Back in 2006, the Chicago Cubs signed outfielder Alfonso Soriano to a eight-year contract worth $136 million. Soriano was coming off of a season with the Washington Nationals where he hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases. Obviously, the Cubs took some risk giving Soriano such a huge contract, but he was coming off of a great season and was considered one of the best players in the game at the time.
We all know how this contract worked out for the Cubs. Pretty much as soon as he arrived in Chicago, Soriano seemed to have lost his speed. He went from stealing 41 bases with the Nationals in 2006 to only swiping 19 bags with the Cubs in 2007. While he has never really lost his power, hitting at least 20 home runs in every season with the Cubs, there is no doubt the eight year deal that he signed with Chicago was a bust.
While Soriano has certainly disappointed during his time in Chicago, I think he gets a bad reputation that is a little unfair. Soriano was 31 years old during his first season with the Cubs. While that is not old by baseball standards, he was starting the downslide of his career, and injuries the following two seasons did not help anything. By then, he was out of the prime of his career. Yes, it is unfortunate that the Soriano deal did not work for the Cubs, but it is not his fault that the former front office gave a huge contract to him when he was past his prime. Soriano has been a great teammate and very hard worker his entire time in the Cubs organization and whether he is gone this year or next, it will be sad to see him go.
That being said, there is no room for Soriano on a team in the middle of a rebuild. At 37 years old, there is no chance that Soriano will be a part of the Cubs when they are ready to compete. Because of this, the Cubs need to look to trade Soriano. While he may not bring a big return, if the Cubs are willing to eat a portion of Soriano's contract, I think they could receive a couple of solid prospects for him. Soriano has a full no-trade clause, so he would have to accept any deal the Cubs make. Even though I think he likes Chicago, I believe he is ready to make another run at a world series title. In my opinion, if the Cubs approach Soriano with a deal that would send him to a contender, he would most likely accept.
Although it will be sad to see Soriano go, it is certainly time. The Cubs must deal their expensive slugger if at all possible. Here are five teams that I think could be a fit for Soriano.
5. Oakland Athletics
While Soriano is not the normal type of acquisition that General Manager Billy Beane would make, I think his right handed power bat would be a nice addition in the Oakland A's lineup. If this team expects to continue to compete this season, they will need to add at the deadline and Soriano could bring good production at a cheap price.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a bit of a surprise this season, currently sitting with a 37-26 record. They do have some holes, including right field where Travis Snider has received a majority of starts and is only hitting .235 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Soriano would probably force Starling Marte to move to RF, but would add another powerful bat in their line-up.
3. Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds might be the best fit for Soriano. Ever since Ryan Ludwick went down with injury very early in the year, the Reds have had a huge hole in left field. Also, they have a need for a right-handed power bat. Soriano would fill both of these needs. That being said, it is thought that Soriano wants to play on the East or West coast. I am not 100 percent sure that he would accept a trade to Cincinnati.
2. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants have always shown the most interest in Soriano. I think Soriano would accept a deal to San Francisco if they came calling again this season.
1. New York Yankees
I think a return to the New York Yankees makes the most sense for all parties involved. Soriano gets to go to a coast and have a legitimate shot at another title, the Cubs get rid of Soriano in exchange for prospects and the Yankees add a bat that they desperately need. Soriano would DH for the Yankees and occasionally play LF.
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