Why the Chicago Cubs Missed Their Opportunity to Unload Alfonso Soriano

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst ISeptember 17, 2012

HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 12: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Alfonso Soriano is fast approaching a 30 homer season with 100 RBIs, joining exclusive company in Cubs history. It would be his highest total since 2007 and his highest RBI total since 2005. 

He's been an anchor in the Cubs lineup, being one of the most productive players in baseball from mid-May to the All-Star Break. He's only hitting .261, still his highest total since 2008.

The Cubs tried hard to unload him this season, but his contract situation makes him very undesirable, even with the numbers he's posting. Soriano is owed $36 million between 2013-14. He was nearly dealt to the Giants, but Soriano invoked his no-trade clause and vetoed that.

It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Cubs, as the Cubs may have a better shot of dealing him next season when there is less cash owed to him.

The Cubs could have cleared space in a crowded outfield and given young prospects an opportunity to get real at-bats with the major league club, but that would have required the Cubs trading him for virtually nothing and absorbing the majority of his contract.

Even Theo wouldn't make such a concession.

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After the suspension news of Melky Cabrera came out, it was pretty apparent the Giants made a desperate attempt to land a replacement for the playoff push. They viewed Soriano as that player.

A lot can happen in a season, and teams' needs can change overnight. 

If Soriano can continue to play with some production, there's no reason the Cubs won't be able to unload him at some point in 2013 for decent prospects.