Is Alfonso Soriano on his way to Philadelphia?
Philadelphia currently has John Mayberry and Domonic Brown slated to start in left and right field this season, but neither had an OPS of higher than .725 last season and both project as platoon players.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro is definitely seeking an outfielder to help Philadelphia become more of a contender in 2013:
“We’ve had several talks with free agents, although they’re limited now,” Amaro said Friday. “We’ve also talked about some possibly trades. We’re staying active as far as that is concerned. We’re still trying to improve, depth-wise, in our outfield, if we can. We don’t have proven everyday Major League players on our corners right now. If we can create some depth there, if we can create some competition, I would like to do that.”
Soriano would not only create depth and competition with the Phillies, but he’s good enough to be the everyday starting left fielder. The 37-year-old former second baseman hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI in his sixth season with the Cubs last season. Soriano is a seven-time All-Star and has received MVP votes five times—including 2012 when he finished in 20th place.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Soriano is a guy that the Phillies have their eyes on:
Most of the heavy lifting is done, but the Phils continue to look for a right-handed hitting outfielder. Manager Charlie Manuel likes Darin Ruf, and the team has discussed doing with platoons in both left and right, incorporating Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and possibly Laynce Nix.
The Phillies, sources say, continue to look at all options, including the signing of free agent Scott Hairston and trades for the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano and Los Angeles Angels’ Vernon Wells.
Acquiring Soriano makes the most sense since he continues to be productive for an underachieving team year after year. He’s hit at least 20 home runs for 11 consecutive seasons has never had his OPS drop below .726 over that span.
Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years, but that shouldn’t deter Philadelphia, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
#cubs are willing to pay about $26M of soriano's $36M if they get right prospect back. seems reasonable. 30/100 last yr
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 13, 2012
Paying Soriano just $5 million per year for the next pair of seasons is a bargain. Soriano would solve a major void—for lack of a better term—at one of the corner outfield positions and could likely hit fifth in the lineup behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
The Phillies have a couple of top pitching prospects that would likely interest the Cubs and for what Soriano brings to the table in 2013 and 2014, it would be well worth it to give one of them up.
Soriano is the answer to Philadelphia’s problems.