The Chicago Cubs signed outfielder Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year, $136 million contract back in 2006. While it was a risky deal, Soriano was coming off of a season with the Washington Nationals where he had a triple-slash line of .277/.351/.560, hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases. Soriano was one of the most talented and exciting players in MLB at that time.
As most of you probably know, that contract did not work out very well for the Cubs. Soriano has been decent in Chicago, but he has never lived up to what Cubs’ fans expected out of him.
All of that being said, Soriano is still a productive hitter. He is currently hitting .266/.294/.480, with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs. Not spectacular, but solid for a middle-of-the-order power hitter. Soriano’s speed has seem to come back a bit this season as he surprisingly has stolen 10 bases thus far.
Recently, Soriano has been on fire. He has hit eight home runs in the last 11 games, and has raised his OPS from .666 to .774 in that span, which is an incredible jump for this time of year. He looks rejuvenated on the field and I think some contending teams are interested in trading for him.
Soriano is a great teammate and clubhouse leader, but with the Cubs in the middle of a rebuild, there is no reason for them to hang on to a 37-year-old outfielder if they can trade him for future assets. The Cubs owe Soriano $18 million this season and next. So with it being about half way through the season, lets say that they still owe him roughly $27 million. Even with his recent hot streak, that is a ton of money for a player of Soriano’s caliber.
That being said, the Cubs are reportedly willing to pay for a majority of his contract if they receive a good prospect in return. Obviously, the Cubs will need to determine what they consider a fair prospect in return for Soriano before they pay him to play for another team.
I think the Cubs will find a suitable offer that will make them pull the trigger on a Soriano deal. Now, Soriano does have a full no-trade clause so he would have to approve any deal that the Cubs make, but he has expressed interest in approving a deal to a contending team. The San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles all appear to have some sort of interest in Soriano.
After six and a half long year with the Cubs, I think Soriano will finally be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline.