Alfonso Soriano’s future will be the story of the Cubs’ 2012 season! He is the link between the Cubs’ past and their future, both a productive player and the last bad contract Chicago’s new management needs to shed before they can build a new contender. So, where will Soriano end up if he is traded this season?
Soriano will have to go to the American League. He may be the worst defender in baseball and is completely unable to effectively play an outfield position. But Soriano’s bat, which is capable of 25-30 home runs with a decent average when he is healthy, does have some value in the designated hitter slot.
The Baltimore Orioles could be interested. They lost DH Luke Scott during the winter and don’t have a lot of power in the middle of the lineup. But, the team is not contending so adding an ageing DH would be a long shot.
The Seattle Mariners may pull the trigger on a trade. They still want new addition Jesus Montero to catch and have no other power hitting to be a full-time DH. But, if they wake up and realize Montero should be a DH, Soriano will no-longer be an option.
Oakland may actually be the best fit. Right now, Coco Crisp is their No. 3 hitter, which is just awful. The Athletics could use another power hitter to mentor Yoenis Cespedes. Manny Ramirez is well over the hill. But, it will come down to money: if the Cubs are willing to swallow almost every dollar of Soriano’s deal, then this one could very well get done. It makes plenty of sense for both sides.
So, where will Soriano end up? It’s hard to say because at some point the Cubs need to trade him to make room for Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur. But there are few obvious takers. Whether Chicago’s brain trust can find a good deal will go a good way toward determining the team’s immediate future.