Alfonso Soriano came into May on the periphery of fantasy relevancy and on the cusp of losing significant playing time in the Cubs lineup.
He hit .237 in 20 games in April, with zero home runs and 18 strikeouts to two walks.
Soriano came under more pressure when it was reported that manager Dale Sveum had to convince Soriano to switch to a lighter bat, which he did. He was using the bat for two weeks before he ended one of the longest home run droughts of his career.
After he hit his first home run on May 15th, it was like the weight was actually lifted. He went on a tear to finish the month, with a .290 average, seven home runs and a .353 OBP through 25 games. He also improved his K-BB ratio to 22-8.
It is no secret that the Cubs would like to unload Soriano. He is owed $54 million through 2014, and the Cubs would have to eat a significant portion if they want any chance of trading him.
Fortunately, Soriano showed this month that he still can produce, and it may entice a team desperate for some power. But it will take more than one month to get a team to absorb half of what he is owed.
The Cubs need to ask themselves if trading him can bring back worthwhile prospects, because they will still be paying him not to play for the Cubs.
One way they can work out the financial situation is by agreeing to pay for the rest of 2012 and 2013, but the club he lands with is on the hook for 2014. The Cubs have a few prospects heating up again in Triple-A Iowa and will likely force the issue if the Chicago team continues to struggle.
Whether Soriano plays well or not, the new Cubs brass has more invested in the future than a bad contract whose production is not making a difference in the lineup.
It'll be a miracle if the Cubs can find a taker for him.