Alfonso Soriano is having a great start to the 2011 season already hitting five home runs and 12 RBI through 15 games. He is actually on pace for 50 home runs this season if he plays 150 games.
Even though he has been playing strong, I could see Soriano end up on the trading block because of his ridiculous contract (he is in the middle of an eight-year, $154 million dollar deal). The Cubs right now are not a very talented team and Soriano's value is at its highest since signing the contract.
These are five teams who I feel could be interested in talking to the Cubs if Soriano becomes available.
The Arizona Diamondbacks may not want to do this trade because of the money that is still owed to Alfonso Soriano, but he makes perfect sense for this team. The Diamondbacks currently are using Willie Bloomquist in left field and replacing him with Soriano could provide some power in the lineup that was lost with the departure of Mark Reynolds.
Soriano would also make the players around him better as he could provide some protection in the lineup for players like Justin Upton. At the end of the day though, I think the Diamondbacks would be scared away by the price tag that comes with Soriano.
The Phillies were considered a World Series favorite to start the 2011 season and at 10-4 they are still in the discussion. The problem is that without Chase Utley, an aging Jimmy Rollins and no Jayson Werth this season, the offense is not nearly as intimidating. This is where Alfonso Soriano can step in.
A lineup that includes Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Alfonso Soriano is pretty scary and come playoff time will be extremely tough to beat especially with the Super Staff the Phillies have constructed.
The Dodgers are 7-9 right now and have scored 50 runs in their first 16 games. Matt Kemp has accounted for half of those runs (either runs scored or RBI) and hitting .474 right now. It is unrealistic for people to expect Kemp to keep this kind of production up all season and he will need some help in that lineup.
Right now Tony Gwynn is playing left field and replacing him with Soriano would be a serious boost to this team. Having a one/two punch of Soriano and Kemp could be enough to get the Dodgers into the Wild Card discussion at the end of this season.
Alfonso Soriano had one of his best seasons in his career as a Washington National. The Nationals were also in contention to sign him after that season but he decided to sign with the Cubs instead. They could use another big bat in their lineup with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman.
The Nationals are still a few pieces away from being in contention for a playoff spot, especially in the NL East, but a move like this could create some much needed buzz around this team and bridge the gap until top picks Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are ready to contribute for the club.
The Rays had a tough start to the season going 0-5 but have turned things around the past 10 games going 6-4. They have good players in Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist. However, during the offseason the Rays knew they needed some additional power and they hoped that Manny was going to be able to provide that.
As many know by now, Manny is retired and that hole still remains for the Rays. Alfonso Soriano could be the difference maker that gets the Rays back into the race for the AL East. They have a top pitching staff, but they are in the bottom half for runs scored and in that division they will need to score runs.
Soriano could be a great addition splitting time between LF and DH for them.