The speculatory trade talks regarding Carlos Zambrano has over shadowed another possible deal that could largely restructure the Cubs payroll and roster.
That being Alfonso Soriano, 35, who’s owed $58.35M through 2014.
If the Cubs are still willing to eat a “major, major chunk” of Sori’s deal, as they noted in late August, then there’s reason to believe some team will be interested in landing the seven-time All Star.
It’s common sense Soriano’s defensive liabilities, which are sorely exposed on the worst fielding team in the NL, make him better suited as a DH in the American League.
Granted Soriano is well past his prime, he still put up a relatively decent season offensively: .244 avg., 88 RBI and 26 HR–the 10th consecutive season he’s belted 20 or more home runs.
As a DH, perhaps, those numbers would go up, along with games played (137 in 2011) considering his weary legs would be more rested.
And unlike Zambrano, Soriano, despite his many critics, has been a positive influence within the clubhouse, a true professional on and off the field and the ultimate team guy.
Of course, there’s a downside to acquiring Soriano, which includes the remainder of his contract, his age and his lengthy history of injuries.
But for an AL team in need of some extra offensive punch, the pros appear to outweigh the cons–especially if Chicago assumes the majority of the risk by paying a premium chunk of his deal.
I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s likely Soriano is traded this offseason, but it’s certainly a possibility–maybe even more so than Zambrano.