Although Chicago had talks to move Soriano before Tuesday's deadline, they failed to find a suitor for him.
The team is in a rebuilding stage and made that clear at the trade deadline. Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson are all gone. The rest of the season will allow the Cubs to evaluate young talent.
When he is at his best, Soriano is a very good hitter. He will never be much of a fielder, but a team in the American League would be smart to use him as its designated hitter.
The #Cubs say that Alfonso Soriano likely staying put, but things could change in August when he clears waivers.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2012
Assuming Soriano clears waivers, Chicago needs to do everything they can to unload him. No team will be willing to take on his salary of $18 million through 2014, so they will need to pay for the majority of it.
NL teams will be worried about his defense, so they likely have to work out a deal with an AL team. The problem is the teams that need a DH are not big-market teams, so they will have to absorb even more of the salary.
The Cleveland Indians are in need of a DH, and they do not have the money to spend on an expensive player. Soriano would provide a big upgrade over Travis Hafner, who has been injured and is only hitting .233 with 10 home runs.
His right-handed hitting would be a great addition to Cleveland's left-handed lineup. The Indians do not have many prospects to give up, but the Cubs should try to make a deal with them. The Indians are only six games back in the AL Central with two months remaining, so it is still possible to make the playoffs.
Soriano is having his best season in years, so the Cubs would be wise to deal him while his value is high. At .270, his average has not been this high since 2008. He also has 19 home runs and 61 RBI on a team that is ranked 29th in runs scored.
He is an aggressive hitter who strikes out a lot and does not walk much. It is an issue when he struggles, because he will not reach base without getting a hit.
Although he used to be a threat to steal 30 bases, he is no longer a speedster. A change in scenery would be helpful for Soriano, and a playoff run is the motivation he needs.
The Cubs are trying to get younger, so they need to continue to shop Soriano. His bat can help a team down the stretch and make a difference.
He received the enormous contract because of his hitting, and he is finally starting to hit consistently. Now the Cubs just need to find a team willing to give up prospects for him.
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