Sure he still has a titanic contract that's going to last a couple of more years, but Soriano has still been one of the most valuable players on this club this year. His defense has vastly improved and he is beloved my his teammates.
But Soriano's greatest value, IMO, is that he may allow to the Cubs not to rush outfield prospects like Jackson (who currently makes Soriano look like a contact hitter) and Soler to the majors.
So would I be mad if Soriano is still on the team in 2013? No! The kids down in the minors simply need to play well enough to eventually put Soriano on the bench next year or the following year.
If Jackson and others are not ready and we don't trade for a starting OF, there is no reason to give Soriano away. I'd just sit him a little more so keep the wear and tear on the legs down.
This team in this Division can contend in 13 with off season upgrades especially if Vitters can play or Jackson come up at mid year. Let it ride until the system starts producing. Maybe somebody will break out fast - Baez, Szczur, Almora, Soler, somebody else.
1B Rizzo2B Barney or upgradeSS Castro3B the big questionC Clevenger/CastilloLF Soriano only move for quality if Jackson is ready.CF DeJesusRF LaHair/Johnson
Garza, Dempster, Wood, Shark, Maholm.
I'd take a shot with this lineup in 13 and wait on the prospects in 14/15.
There would be 2 HUGE reasons in the past to trade him.One , his contract hindered the team from making moves.Two , his defense was a liability.
Now his contract no longer hinders the team in any way because the payroll is already down with a lot more coming off the books after this season and his defense is pretty solid.It's a shame we didn't have coaches before who could have done what McKay has done with his defense.
There is no reason to trade him right now , like you say he's not blocking anybody and I think it would be foolish to pay another team most of his salary for him to produce for them.
"It would be stupid to eat his salary...... "
I agree, I really hope they scrapped that idea.
I'd like to see the Cubs restructure his contract. Before the attacks happen let me state clearly that I agree 100% Soriano is not worth X dollars a year anymore. But because of the contract the Cubs are legally forced to pay him every last penny. I'd rather get that over with as soon as possible.
Soriano is owed 18 million a year next year and the year after that. I'd rather just pay him all 36 million next year, making him a free agent after next season. Use the money they are eating this year on Zambrano's contract to pay him the extra next year. This gives the Cubs the chance to sign him to a more reasonable contract for the number of years they think they need. It also gives Soriano and his agent a chance to leave for another team if he doesn't want to be part of the rebuilding process or to DH to save his health. I'd even restructure his contract this way even if they trade him and pay most of the contract. Let the new regime start the 2014 season with no inherited financial burdens to use as an excuse.
2014 the Cubs have 24.3 million commited to current player contracts and 19 of that is Soriano's .
There is no need to pay him off early they aren't going to be strapped for cash .
Players Union would love to see a guy like Sori making 36 M for a season.
"I'd like to see the Cubs restructure his contract."
So get only him for only one year for $36 mil instead 2 years for $36 mil?
"Use the money they are eating this year on Zambrano's contract to pay him the extra next year."
Do you know what eating it means? They are spending it. They can't spend the same money twice.
There is no financial benefit to the Cubs by paying him before they need to.
I stated, when Sori signed, that the $ by the end of his contract won't sound so bad. And I stand by that. Thing is, many hate on him for signing a contract they would have signed in less than a heart beat. I don't care who was involved or did this or that, the contract was signed.
IMO, the move to CF (forget season) was where his decline started. We still had the crowned field and he had never played CF, let alone at Wrigley. It does make a difference.
Any given year you can say this player or that player hasn't lived up to his contract. And I am sure there are some worse than Soris now. I think many looked at the 40-40 and feel anger that he couldn't repeat it, ya know, so many have.
Sori is a HR hitter, was at lead off and currently. Follow his ABs yearly and you will see the decline of over all numbers.
Yes, the slider is a problem.
The reason I want to finish off that contract next year instead of dragging it out over 2 years is to give the Cubs more options. Right now he is hard to trade because of the money and years left. A new contract changes that. Right now he is sadly the best LF option. But I hope.........make that demand the new regime have a better plan than an injured Soriano in left field and hitting clean up in 2014. I know I can't really force the Cubs to do anything, but seriously if during the first three years they can't do better than a hobbling aging Soriano what good are they?
As for the comment about eating Zambrano's money, they are eating it this year, but not next year. So if they can afford to pay Zambrano 18 million to play for the Marlins this year, they should also be able to pay Soriano an extra 18 million next year to buy out his 2014 monster contract.
In regards to Soriano:
"Buster Olney ?@Buster_ESPN
SPECULATION: Alfonso Soriano would be an interesting get for the Rays if the Cubs ate about 90 percent of the money owed to him."
I get this is speculation. But if we are eating 90-95% of the contract then we better get something decent back. There is no reason to just give him away.
Paying him off makes NO SENSE. His salary is no hindrance. The Cubs will be near the bottom of guaranteed salaries in 13 and 14 unless the sign players.
We have no one ready to step in to play the OF until Jackson or someone else is ready or we trade or sign another OF. Soriano has not been traded because we are unwilling to eat $25-30M, and why should we.
Not really a burden, hydra.
You have a 36 year old outfielder who is vastly overpaid thru 2014.
As long as he is productive, Soriano is starting left fielder for the Cubs-that simple.
You arent going to trade him and pay another team $30 million as long as Sori is productive.
I dont think Jackson has a future with the Cubs, but you have 2 young outfielders in Soler and Almaro who are young and have time to develop.