Alfonso Soriano just might be the hottest hitter in the MLB right now.
The Chicago Cubs’ slugger has mashed eight home runs in his 11 games. In the past two weeks, Soriano has posted a .400 average (18-45) and collected 17 RBIs. The surging 37-year-old outfielder has smacked a total of 15 homers this season and 387 for his career, good for 58th place all-time.
With Soriano’s bat heating up, the trade rumors will intensify, especially with the trade deadline looming at the end of the month.
Soriano is truly a consummate pro as the aging slugger has been a positive influence in a Cubs clubhouse filled with young players. For the time being, Soriano has given Cubs fans a reason to cheer in another losing season, but the fact of the matter is that the Cubs are in rebuild mode and are trying to stockpile as many young prospects as possible for the future.
Sitting at 40-48 and nine games back of the final National League Wild Card spot, Cubs GM Theo Epstein is looking past this year in terms of personnel decisions as management strives to build a long-term contender. Therefore, Soriano’s hitting splash has come at the perfect time as contending clubs around the league in need of offensive help would certainly be interested in trading for the left-fielder.
The trade value for Soriano has skyrocketed in the past two weeks, and the Cubs now have the potential to attain valuable assets in return.
It should be noted that Soriano has a full trade protection with 10-5 veto rights, meaning he can block any trade presented to him. Last year, Soriano blocked a trade that would have sent him to the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants. After forgoing a chance to be part of an eventual World Series team last season, it is more likely Soriano would agree to a trade this year under the right circumstances.