I don’t know about you, but I was shocked by the release of Alfonso Soriano by the New York Yankees. This was the man the Yankees traded to get Alex Rodriguez in 2004. How the mighty of fallen. Now that Soriano is essentially a free agent, could he become a good fit for the Boston Red Sox?
Soriano has a monster contract, as he’s getting paid $18 million this year. An obvious reason a team wouldn’t go for Soriano. But here’s the beauty of when a player is DFA, the team that picks him up, only owes the league minimum on said player? Soriano just got a whole lot more enticing didn’t he?
His career is certainly on the tail end. Soriano is (supposedly) 38 years old and he’s not getting any younger. Taking a chance on an almost 40-year-old outfielder is not something that sounds like a great idea. But once again, for the price you would essentially pay, why not? He does still have some redeeming qualities about him. He’s always a threat to go deep, something the entire Red Sox roster seems to lack this year as they stand almost dead last in home runs this year. He does still carry a little bit of speed, something I wouldn’t say you could rely upon, but the option is there.
What I like is Soriano’s numbers at Fenway Park. In his career, he’s played 51 games at Fenway (doesn’t that seem like it should be so much higher?) and owns a .295 average with eight home runs, 24 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and a .322 on-base percentage. They aren’t numbers that will blow you away, but they absolutely aren’t numbers that I would say no too paying the league minimum.
I don’t know what type of leadership Soriano carries, but I can’t imagine the young players on the team can’t learn a thing or two from him. Soriano has played in the outfielder and the infield in his career. Don’t we have rookie players at those positions? Xander Boagerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. could benefit from some veteran advice as they continue to find their way in the majors.
Finally, if the Red Sox are serious about trying to make a late-season run, this move could also be beneficial because a trade wouldn’t be necessary. No players would have to be swapped and the Red Sox literally have to pay such a small price for a player that may be on his final years, but could still contribute. They have nothing to lose. Desperate times bring desperate measures. I don’t see how having Soriano could do anything but help in some sort of way.