Lukewarm Stove: Alfonso Soriano Trade Chatter Picking Up

A day after finalizing a deal that unloaded Carlos Zambrano on the Miami Marlins, the Cubs appear to be hard at work unloading another problematic player, Alfonso Soriano.

The “problem” with the outfielder, mind you, is totally different than that with Zambrano. Soriano, who turns 36 tomorrow, is a hard worker and a well-liked teammate. The “problem” is that he’s also owed $18 million over the next three years, and his legs have left him. Although he still has some life left in his bat, playing regularly in left field is not something Soriano can do well anymore. And doing so is probably sapping some of that life from his bat.

So, it’s unsurprising that the Cubs have been aggressively shopping Soriano for some time now, on the understanding that the Cubs would eat enough of his contract to make a deal palatable for some AL team, who could DH Soriano for the next few years.

Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs have spoken to at least eight AL teams about Soriano, with the Mariners and O’s mentioned specifically. The most Levine expects the Cubs to save by dealing Soriano is $5 million per year, with the Cubs eating the remaining $39 million. Even in that case, I wouldn’t expect the return on such a deal to be anything worth getting excited about.

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein certainly didn’t rule out a trade of Soriano when he was discussing the Zambrano trade yesterday. Indeed, Epstein came off like a guy selling Soriano to the whole of the AL.

“[Soriano] hit 26 home runs and drove in 88 runs last year,” Epstein said. “He’s a valuable offensive player, so it’s our responsibility as an organization to work with him and to get the best out of him. At some point in the future, if there’s a transaction that makes sense with any of our players that puts the Cubs in a better position moving forward, we are going to pursue it. But in respect to Alfonso, he has power and is an offensive contributor. We can work with him to get the best out of him and see where that takes us.”

Sounds like the kinds of things Epstein said about Zambrano … and Sean Marshall.

The team whose name keeps popping up is the Baltimore Orioles, with a report out of Baltimore claiming the Cubs and O’s have discussed a Soriano deal. Phil Rogers suggests something similar, and even mentions Brian Roberts (oh no, not that again) by name, though it seems like he’s speculating.

The Boston Red Sox, who have discussed Marlon Byrd with the Cubs, are not interested in Soriano says Nick Cafardo, which is unsurprising.

Soriano, you’ll note, has a no-trade clause, though he’s previously indicated he would waive it if the Cubs asked. Perhaps the rebuilding nature of the team will inspire him to hold to that.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

121 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Alfonso Soriano Trade Chatter Picking Up”

  1. Sam

    Listen Whenever a person tell you we have to get back to the basics- its because that person has no idea how to fix the problem. When a Buisness tell you we have to go back to the basics that is Worst- thats because money problems have become an issue.

    The Cubs Under Ricketts are a very bad team . For all you people that degrade Hendry . Hendry did What the Tribune asked of him – provide a contender – fill the staduim and have a decent farm system .

    Ricketts did Chicago no favors by bowing to the Tribune demands he got rooked by the Tv deal and he became cheap after one bad contract.

    I find it totally disgusting that Chicago signed bad contracts but what i find more disturbing the sheep the cubs fans have become in embracing this Ricketts The cubs have no money to field a contender- they are going back to the basics – so this owner can hold on to the Cubs

    Now for lil theo – dont believe the hype, this man has never rebuild anything on his own! He is quiter just like baby z did in Atlanta as he did in Boston on holloween and the redsox took him back! if a person gonna praise lil theo than that same praise needs to be reflected towards Lucchino . It was Lucchino that build the redsox and LIL theo WAS a cog.
    Now Mr Theo is President of the Cubs and this position that he will get full credit for the cubs but Ricketts is a bad owner .

    The only bad contract Chicago needs to be concern is how long Ricketts is owner.

    now if PRES. theo can make that contract go away ! the man is truly remarkable

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      I think you’re just a pissed off Red Sox fan.

    2. loyal100more

      are you a cubs fan? are you just a nay-sayer? your talking about all this behind the curtain drama that fans dont care about, though it does effect the product on the field, we dont relly care who has to die to get it there. im excited about a rebuild. i believe theo and co are the guys makeing this happen. i could be wrong but thats what im led to believe and really dont care if it true or not. i like whats happening now im a cub fan not a drama queen. if i was interested in soaps id watch chloe and lamar! GO CUBS!!

      1. Sam

        fans Care — empty seats – first indicator

        1. loyal100more

          they care about the product, not the act of getting it on the field. the sport not the biz

        2. Ryan

          Up until a couple of years ago most fans came for the expereience. As the economy has gotten tougher people aren’t going to spend their money watching a team that isn’t very good. You put a good product on the field people will comme to the game. How do you do that get good talent you can’t buy a championship you must develop talent to win championships and that;s what the cubs are doing now getting talent. Bite the bullett now when there isn’t a great free agency class, don’t overspend on someone that won’t help that much anyway in the next couple of years and work on getting talent that will help and allow you to spend that Money that you are talking about wisely on filling certain holes in a roster to be a championship contender unstead of throwing money basically down a dark hole

    3. loyal100more

      you actually called cubs fans “sheep” on BN? take a hike

    4. Ryan

      WOW. Really you think the Cubs should just continue to throw money at the problem in hopes that the cubs will be a contender every year. I’d like you to find me a team that has consitantly made the playoffs that didn’t get its start with a bunch of home grown talent. Hendry was told to make the Cubs a contender so the Tribune could sell them ok I had heard that and it makes some sense. Because of that it was throw money at the MLB team and don’t spend money at the minor league level to get talent into the system. Now with the new CBA everyone has a cap on how much they can spend without major penalties coming their way. meaning its going to be harder to draft talent so you have to trade for it and more and more teams don’t want to give up a bunch of young cost controlled talent.

      1. loyal100more

        obviously you are correct. im not for a second suggesting anything like that. home grown talent makes you a contender every year and more likely to win it all with a bit of offseason tweaking. all im saying what needs to be done is in the act of being done right now. im excited for the future of the team given its new direction. however the formula of success is in place, and looking back does nothing more but provide a list of what not to do. im not mad at anyone for what they did. when all is said and done they all were trying to do the same thing, they were just going about it all wrong. can you blame em for trying to give us a winner even if they caused us some problems.isnt trial and error how we got where we are?

        1. Ryan

          agreed

          1. loyal100more

            were on the same page. ill admit im a bit more manic in how i express it.

    5. Rick Vaughn

      I go to bed, go to work, come home, and this Sam kid is STILL rambling about the same nonsense. Same posts as yesterday. Over and over.

      Why would someone spend so much time bitching and moaning about a BASEBALL TEAM? Who let’s themselves stress out over something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things? I really think it’s one of the most pathetic things I’ve seen.

      Why the hate for Theo and Ricketts? I would understand if they put the train on your wife or mom or something. Other than that, I can’t understand the negativity towards them this early in the game.

      Then again, I was pretty pissy as a 12 year old too…

      1. loyal100more

        THANK YOU VAUGHN!! and i only wish that i would have put it in the same words up front.

      2. Brian Myers

        He’s having serious problems with Jobu. He looks at Ricketts as Jobu and thinks “I’m pissed off now, Jobu. Look, I go to you. I stick up for you. You don’t help me now. I say “F U,” Jobu, I do it myself.” We just need to get a live chicken to help him with his problem…

        1. loyal100more

          he actually drank jobus rum…. very bad!

        2. Rick Vaughn

          Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curve ball?

          1. loyal100more

            IF THE CUBS ARE WINNING I DONT CARE WHO GOT SHOT!!!

      3. Sam

        oh well

    6. JR1908

      Sam, I am sure you live your life in a very negative/everybody’s against me way as well…Sad..Let me spell it out for you….
      Hendry left the team and organization a train wreck. The correct way to build an organization is thru the minor league system and spend on the right FA at the right time. We all know about the new CBA, but they still need to fix the minor league system.

  2. loyal100more

    im a DIE HARD cubs fan. that means if the cubs are winning, i dont care who got shot!

  3. loyal100more

    you know its the unfortunate biz that makes guys like soriano no good for the team. as a fan i wish we could keep him, but the biz of it all says hes poison.

  4. Sam

    This site is like one of the worst sites when it comes to butt kissing for only a rebuilding mode. i bring balance and when the season starts and the cubs are 30 games out and the seats are empty – how many years before i can tell you i told you so . but i dont get personal with any of you guys . i can start ….but why belittle myself. I will stick with Ricketts and lil theo its the cubs i am concern about – not your petty little life.

    1. loyal100more

      wow, seriously?

    2. loyal100more

      do you want a WAMBERGER and some FRENCH CRIES!

    3. JR1908

      The Cubs are going to be bad next yr. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.. So your plan is too get on here to call everyone out when they are bad? We all know that already… But if it makes you feel cool, go ahead..

    4. SweetJamesJones

      Guys. Dont feed the troll. Just continue amongst yourselves and avoid the insane ramblings from a 13 year old kid.

      Freakin’ debbie downers and chatty cathys.

    5. Ryan

      Will the cubs struggle this year its likely that will happen. Will the Cubs likely be better in the next couple years afterward likely. Why because the front office has a plan and it looks like they are sticking with that plan this offseason. With the money that comes off the books after this year the Cubs will likely be a bit more of a player in free agency but by that time the front office will have a better idea what the need to make this team competitive quicker.

      1. loyal100more

        thats very realistic and optimistic at the same time… well said and ill agree

      2. Sam

        Now that is good reply! do nothing this year- maybe do something next year! but ryan ever team has a plan! is the cubs plan good – trades baby z and pays 15 million bad move- the rizzo kid – wont matter- trading marshall- white flag- stewart- ??? wow dejesus Niether a bad or good move. All of the CUbs playrs they have recieved so far are dissappointments – and yet we still have butt kissers kising then get mad and call this writer names LOL i get paid to type.

        1. Rick Vaughn

          You may need to repeat 6th grade english (again). That was even worse than usual.

          1. loyal100more

            i think he has a crush on you vaughn

        2. loyal100more

          you might find more takers at say a reds or cards fan site. dude seriously who pooped in your fruit loops?

        3. JR1908

          Sam, I hope your drinking heavily. I can’t even make out what you are trying to say… Just rambling with missing punctuation…

          1. Rick Vaughn

            I do my best punctuating when I’m drinking. He’s got no excuse. I AM SAM (Sean Penn, anyone?)

        4. Ryan

          You have a new front office with a plan walking into a situation where they look at it and they have a bunch of money tied into a bunch of long term contracts that are close to completion. So outside of Soriano’s deal a bunch of money is gone from the books in the next 2 years. As far a Z goes with all of his problems the cubs had to send him packing they couldn’t let him come back and the players didn’t want him back so to get anything of value you have to chip in a bunch of money, They got a younger pitcher that has some upside that they can control for the next 3 years. The Marshall trade is one that if the Cubs make that deal in July you may like it get 3 players for a guy that you aren’t going to keep. Because of the new CBA the team getting him wouldn’t get a draft pick if they got him in July so the return wouldn’t have been as good. The Stewart trade is a simple trade of people that need a new start. Now outside Dejesus signing all the other signings have been smart signings. You get a couple of arms that it they bounce back this year you can trade them and continue to rebuild a barren farm system or keep them if you don’t get anyone that is worth it. Low cost with the posiable high return.

    6. loyal100more

      you can tell me you told me so now if you like. im alright with it. a fan is for better or for worst.
      the tough time endured make the good time so much sweeter…. especially if you never BITCHED about it.

  5. Sam

    Vaugn stop butt kissing. most Cub fans do not care! and comes July they will care less!

    1. loyal100more

      loyal 100 more… get it?

    2. Rick Vaughn

      “Vaugn stop butt kissing”

      -Whose butt am I kissing?

      “most Cub fans do not care!”

      -What does that have to do with anything?

      “and comes July they will care less!”

      -If they already don’t care, how could they possibly care any less?

  6. loyal100more

    has any one heard what our next trade rumor is?

    1. Rick Vaughn

      Soriano and cash to Baltimore for Brian Roberts and possibly prospects. Doesn’t seem serious though.

      1. loyal100more

        is that real? or just noise?

        1. Rick Vaughn

          Probably too good to be true. I wouldn’t even care if we paid Soriano’s entire salary. I can’t handle him swinging at pitches 5 feet out of the zone on a two strike count anymore.

          http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-could-soriano-be-next-cub-to-go-20120106,0,2160126.story

        2. Rick Vaughn

          Also, a deal with Kerry Wood seemed close yesterday. But now it’s being reported that he is in talks with other teams. I imagine he’s planning on sticking to his Cubs or nothing thing he has going. But it couldn’t hurt financially for him to say that he’s willing to go somewhere else now.

          1. loyal100more

            thanks for the link that definatly had a bit more shape to it than what ive been hearing. as for wood… give the guy a raise and sign him. cubs fans love him and hes gonna be an asset in the pen.

            1. Rick Vaughn

              Absoluetly. Kerry Wood brought me back to baseball. He’s been my favorite player. I’m glad he went to Cleveland to get the money the Cubs wouldn’t/couldn’t pay him. The day he came back was a great day for me. He is the Chicago Cubs right now. Even in his minor role as a setup man. He’s the link to the success we’ve had. Most Cubs fans that have a Cubs jersey have #34 on the back of it. Below is from my myspace.

              Kerry Wood Highlights:

              - 20 strikeout game vs. the Astros

              - Busted up Sammy Sosa’s boombox

              - Was money in the 2003 playoffs until Game 7. And after he lost the game, he wanted to take the blame for the loss. That is classy.

              - Signed below market value with the Cubs 2 years ago saying that he felt bad that he’d been hurt so much during his time in Chicago and he wanted to make it up to the team.

              - Has never, ever smiled”

              1. loyal100more

                wood= the culture theos always pointing out.

      2. loyal100more

        i heard a rumor along those lines… curious as to weather it was actually taking on some serious negotiating.

        1. Ryan

          Anyone hear anything on Wells if he’s been taken off the block?

          Anyone hear anything about K.Wood talking to other teams?

          1. Rick Vaughn

            I don’t see them trading Randy Wells. His value right now is lower than I think it should be. He’s a decent 3-4 starter in my opinion. But he’s had injuries and bad luck. I’d like to see him stay. A cheap ground ball inducing starter is just what the Cubs need in Wrigley.

            And Kerry Wood will be a cub. He’s too important to the franchise (fans) to let him walk. Especially with all the open payroll this team is likely going to have going into 2012.

            1. loyal100more

              i agree. dempster and wells are in place for the season, and will eat up alot of innings and will hopefully add to theyre trade value at the deadline. as for now they are more valuable to the team than in any trade.

  7. loyal100more

    come on guys does anyone have any good news as to whats next? anything more recent on the soriano situation? anything other than sam needs to take a nap or drink some coffee

    1. SweetJamesJones

      Dang son! Chill out! Ha! If you want more people to talk to, go to the message board!

      1. Rick Vaughn

        Shhh, message board is for adults only.

        1. SweetJamesJones

          Adults? Seems like it has been a bunch of kids on a rant. :)

          1. loyal100more

            sorry james ill behave now

            1. SweetJamesJones

              Im just kidding! Seriously, come over to the message board. There are a lot of good things being discussed.

               

    2. Ryan

      I haven’t read about anything else in the works

  8. loyal100more

    well the trend as of late seems to be initiate talks… abandon them… and then announce that they have taken place.