Chicago Cubs

Alfonso Soriano: A Former Hall of Fame-Caliber Second Basemen

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 12:  Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on August 12, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Brian HoltContributor IFebruary 9, 2011

By Brian Holt, Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com

Remember When is a series of articles on nostalgia, really. Something to whisk you to way back to when you had that favorite player who was destined to be the greatest of all time, but something strange happened along the trip to Cooperstown.

This week, remember when... Alfonso Soriano was the most coveted second baseman in fantasy baseball, not a slightly better-than-average outfielder saddling the Cubs with a $20 million a year contract?

Just imagine, if you will, a second baseman hitting .280 with 35-plus HRs and over 100 RBI stealing as many as 43 bases in a single season! This is the kind of production fantasy managers generally only get in their dreams. But for one lucky manager in your league, it was a reality from 2002-2005.

 

Year Team Runs HR RBI SB Avg
2002 NYY 128 39 102 41 .300
2003 NYY 114 38 91 35 .290
2004 TEX 77 28 91 18 .280
2005 TEX 102 36 104 30 .268

 

Then, Alfonso went to Washington, where all good things go to die.

Suddenly defense became an issue and the outfield became the cure. That first season still seemed great—how can you complain about 46 home runs? But the eligibility definitely caused his value to take a hit.

Then, Soriano signed that fateful deal with the most cursed team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs. Now they’re paying all that money for this type of production:

 

Year Team Runs HR RBI SB Avg
2010 CHC 67 24 79 5 .258

 

I don’t know who I feel worse for, the Cubs, Soriano or those poor fantasy owners who thought they were in for a 10-year run of greatness.

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