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An end-of-the-week roundup of the latest news and rumors affecting the Cubs…

  • The Alfonso Soriano speculation continues. Bruce Levine reiterates that the Cubs would be willing to eat 80% of the remaining $54 million (over three years) owed to Soriano, and Jim Bowden says the Tigers should consider Soriano to replace Victor Martinez. Thing is? I’m told that, when the Cubs contacted the Tigers about Soriano after learning of the Martinez injury, the Tigers wanted the Cubs to eat 95% of his remaining salary. Yo.
  • The primary issue teams have with Soriano? It’s those three years. Now, you can say it’s all money, so the years don’t really matter. But here’s why they do: a number of teams are willing to take Soriano on at $5 or $6 million in 2012. But 2013 and 2014? They aren’t crazy about taking him on for *any* amount. So, what you’re left with is a number of teams wanting the Cubs to eat 90 to 95% of the deal (to yield a “fair” contract in 2012, and “no” contract in 2013/14). It’s a matter of perspective, but the upshot is: unless the Cubs are willing to eat $48 to $50 million of Soriano’s deal, it will remain a near impossibility to trade him.
  • John Arguello from the very well-done Cubs Den reported yesterday that the Cubs had actually managed to secure a Soriano trade with the Orioles earlier in the week, but Soriano nixed it by way of his no-trade rights (with not-so-coincident reports that Soriano would accept a trade only to a contender). To the extent you’re reach for your torch, let me offer you two shots of relax: (1) it’s hard to blame Soriano, who knows he’s on his last contract, for wanting to be where he wants to be in his latter years; (2) I checked with a source on the report, and, while it’s true that the Cubs and O’s discussed Soriano, it didn’t quite get to the stage of exchanging names/dollar amounts. Before the two sides got to that stage, the Cubs checked in on Soriano’s thoughts, and he indicated that he wouldn’t be accepting a trade to Baltimore. So things ended before they really got anywhere.
  • So, Yu Darvish signed with the Rangers on Wednesday for about six years and $60 million (give or take an incentive here and an opt-out there). Together with the $51 million posting fee, the Rangers are into Darvish for six years and over $111 million. Knowing that, have your thoughts changed on the Cubs’ bid in the $20 million range (like every other team in the race, other than the Rangers)? I still think Darvish could be an excellent pitcher, and you almost never get the chance to land a 25-year-old stud pitcher for nothing more than money. But, yeah. That’s a huge commitment for a guy who hasn’t pitched in the States.
  • The signing obviously takes the Rangers out of any Matt Garza sweepstakes, such as one exists.
  • I’m told the Tigers don’t want Marlon Byrd, for whatever that’s worth.
  • Speaking of Garza, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland had some interesting things to say about his team’s need for a fifth starter. “We have a No. 5 hole and we’ve got some nice options in our organization, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t go outside the organization by way of a trade or free agency,” Leyland said. “That’s another area that we’re still trying to fill – to round out the rotation. With the team that we have – even minus Victor – if we pitch, we’ll be right in the hunt …. I don’t think we’re done. I think Dave will continue to look and put the best team on the field within fiscal responsibility.” To me, that sounds like a manager sending signals up the ladder: I’d rather you gave me another proven starter, and not a rookie. Kthxbye.
  • MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes held a chat this week, and, while they’re always interesting, there isn’t a whole lot of Cubs goodness in there this time.
  • A reminder: follow Bleacher Nation on Twitter and “like” it on Facebook for the latest rumors incrementally sooner than you’d get it by obsessively checking the site (which is, of course, also fine with me).
  • die hard

    Wells to Detroit for a AA and A pitcher could work for both teams

  • Warrior

    Why would they want Wells? He’s a borderline rotation guy with the Cubs and we don’t have much. Can’t see him making their rotation in the AL.

  • JR 1908

    At this point if the Cubs can get 5 or 6 mill for 2012 only and unload Soriano, they need to do it… Why would another team want to pay Soriano for 2013 and ’14? Plus the Cubs have Dumpster, Byrd and Big Z off the books next year so the can more easily eat the 18 mill owed to Sori for ’13 and ’14. At this point if they got 5 or 6 mill off the 54 mill owed it needs to be done. He has no value the remaining yrs!!

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      No offense, but I couldn’t disagree more. I’d rather they try Soriano as a part-time player who faces lefties and 4th-5th starters than to just eat his salary. I think Soriano still has value…but not as an everyday player. Done right, Soriano could have a very good 2012 and be much more tradeable with only two years left on his contract.

      • JR 1908

        I hear what you are saying. But do you think a guy making 18 mill. is going to be cool being a part time player with a rookie? He needs to dh only. Even though he hits 25 bombs a year he is bad at every other aspect. Suspect defense, hitting with runners in scoring position, speed on bases, and 280 obp all suck…. He’s terrible.. And he’s old as sh*t now, trade him before he breaks something…

        • DocWimsey

          Sori’s hit exactly as expected with runners in scoring position: we expected 60 or 59 “clutch” hits and got 59.

          It’s simply his hitting overall that has gone down.

        • Ron Swanson

          If that’s how he feels he should reconsider his stance on being traded to the Orioles.

        • rcleven

          Sorri had a choice. Go to Baltimore or accept a reduced roll as a Cub. Ill bet after sitting on the bench for half a season he will accept a trade to the Astros.

        • hogie

          He was actually our best hitter with RISP, 285/331/508. The rest does suck, but he still has a little clutch in him.

          • DRock

            That’s not saying much considering how bad we were last year…just sayin’.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        even if sori stays in chicago, and leads the team in homers and RBI, and he probably will, no team wants him at 38 years old as an investment at just about any price. and certainly not in exchange for any young talent. i believe the only way to move sori is for another bad contract and even then the guys age just keeps popping up and sending suitors in the other direction. no way any team wants to strap that dude on for three years without almost the whole contract covered. and if your gonna cover the whole contract, dont be an idiot keep him on your roster and use him creativly! i mean who else on this existing roster might hit 25 HR or drive in 80RBI. it so sad to admit but given the 2012 cubs roster we can still use this guy for some at bats and some MUCH needed run production.

    • Mick

      I agree. Any contending team who would be remotely interested in Soriano would only be interested in him for 2012 as a platoon/pinch hitter/DH. The Cubs just need to bite the bullet here and get whatever they can for him. If the Tigers were willing to pay $5 million this year then they must see some value so, why not make Soriano and $49 million the throw in to get the Tigers’ prospects they’re so reluctant to get rid of soley for Garza.

      Screw Soriano, if I lived in Chicago I would buy tickets just to boo him every chance I got. He’s already been paid $95 million by the Cubs and is still owed $54 million more. He’s severly underperformed for his contract and his remaining years will be best spent as a DH but he’ll excercise his no-trade clause unless he’s traded to a contending team? So much for helping a guy by putting him in the best position to succeed. If I managed the Cubs I’d start him every game, bat him 9th, have him steal everytime he gets on base, and never give him a day off. I would run his ass into the ground until his knees/hammys/quads finally give out and we can collect insurance on the remainder of his contract.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        great post mick.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Yeah, thats a great way to treat a guy who has been in the league forever, sends a great message to future free agents “Play it our way or we will end your career”.

        Like it or not, but Soriano has earned his no-trade rights per the system that is in place. I certainly do not want to waste my time booing a guy for wanting some say in where he goes after a 15 year MLB career.

        • 100 Years of Tears

          I agree, hansman. I’m about as far from a Soriano fan as you can get, but that’s not the way to use him. He’s an old man that scored a hell of a contract through Hendry. And Hendry is the one to be pissed at… I think we need to unload Sori before the season at almost any cost. If he plays full time, he takes time from the young guys and/or loses value. And what’s the point of just hitting against lefties? I don’t see it. He has no value whatsoever in the field… get him to the AL.

      • DRock

        He is such a bust. Worst return on an investment in the history of baseball.

        • Kyle

          Barry Zito is relieved you don’t remember him, as is Mike Hampton.

          • JR 1908

            Agree Zito is the worse contract. I do think Sori’s deal is 2nd worse all time though.

            • EQ76

              Kevin Brown, Vernon Wells, AJ Burnett, Adam Dunn, Dice-K, and the list goes on and on.. there’s plenty of bad contracts out there.. Soriano hasn’t lived up to his at all but he has been hitting 25hrs a year for us. that’s at least something.

              • JR 1908

                Not when your obp is .280, you can’t play dfence, or run. A untility player is better than that.

                • EQ76

                  Didn’t Soriano lead the league in outfield assists 2 years in a row? Listen dude, nobody’s saying he’s been great, there’s just so many other players who’ve proven to be bad contracts.. I’d say Zito is the worst hands down.

                  • JR 1908

                    Well everyone runs on Sori because they think he’s terrible. There are a lot of Bad deals out there, I agree. But the Cubs had too many misses. And it makes me want to beat Hendry’s ass. Because they can’t sign talent now because of them…

                  • Tommy

                    Soriano does get a lot of OF assists, but that stat surely does not indicate him as a good defensive player. I love Sori, I really do – he has a great arm, and more importantly a great attitude. Now, beyond that, I saw enough Cub games last year to realize that Sori is horrendous defensively. Every hit to left field was an adventure, and the range, well, let’s just say ‘notsagud’.

                    I agree with your statement that there are worse contracts out there – for sure. But man, I would be absolutely thrilled if we could get him off the roster and get some young blood in there instead.

              • Bric

                I’d probably put A’Rod’s in there as well. Sure he’s a future hall of famer but all that cash clogged up badly needed areas like pitching. There’s a reason pitchers get credit for the win even though the 8 or 9 other guys on the field score all the runs.

        • JulioZuleta

          There’s a certain player that has averages .283 27 HR, 97RBI, over the last 4 years, solid player right? Well, when he’s not injured he DH’s or plays below average defense and earns $27.5 million a year…Oh yeah, there’s another 6 years left on that contract at $27.5 mil per. Believe it or not, A-Rod is a worse investment. Soriano is bad too of course, but if he had the DH option, that contract wouldn’t be as bad.

          • JR 1908

            Part of the reason Soriano’s deal was so bad is that there isn’t a dh spot avial. for him. But yeah ARod’s deal is pretty terrible too. I would be curious what type of market there would be for ARod? Would the Yanks have to eat 95% of his deal to move him??

            • hardtop

              “Would the Yanks have to eat 95% of his deal to move him??”
              i doubt it. though his defense isn’t stellar, its just below average. Soriano is at a whole other level of below average. in fact…. averages just don’t apply to his defense, its a zero on a scale of 100. I also believe A Rod is a year younger than Fonzie despite the fact that their “paperwork” has it the other way around :)
              even though we all know BA is an over rated stat, there’s a significant difference between Fonize’s .250-ish (and that’s including 08′) and a-rods .285 ish. OBP is a better indicator of value at the plate: Arods around 383 over the last 5 years and fonzie is around 314 (again including ’08, an uncharacteristically good year, alt least as a Cub). this year, fonzie was .290 in OBP to Alex’s .362. Lastly, Rodriguez plays in a tougher division against, arguably (or not?), tougher pitching. With his numbers and the general perception of the two, I think Arods terrible contract is more attractive than Sorianos. But its still f’n terrible, don’t get me wrong. And because its 3+ mil more than Alfonso’s, I’d guess the Yankees would still have to eat 72 to 80% if they were to move him.

              • JulioZuleta

                I wasn’t talking about a trade of the two at all. I was just saying I think A-Rod’s is worse. $9 million more per year, and it will last 3 years LONGER than Soriano’s. Post steroid A-Rod is starting to break down physicallly, thats a scary thought when the Yanks still owe him , oh, another $170 million.

    • Lou

      I hate when people refer to Dempster as Dumpster. The guy came into this organization after major injury, played at AAA, agreed to be a closer after never doing it, tweaked his motion which gave him his best season ever in 2008, earned the big contract that he did, and pitched while an undiagnosed illness (that took long in recovery and diagnosis) affected his newborn child. And I wonder why I make less and less comments on this board. Dumpster, I think NOT!

      • Ian Afterbirth

        Agree.

      • JR 1908

        Cry a little more Lou… He’s a good guy who has another bad Cubs contract. Sorry, but these contracts Hendry handed out piss me off. Most of the 14 mill going to him goes straight down the Dumpster. He is such a team player that refuses to be traded (last year) and compete for a championship to be mediocre. Completely bending the Cubs over.

        • EQ76

          Demp has not been a bad contract. do you think that anyone who has a sub par year isn’t worth much? Dempster has had a nice run for us and been a very dependable pitcher.. For 3 years he averaged over 28 saves as a first time closer.. as a starter, he has gone 53-41 since 2008. He had one bad stretch at the beginning of last season.. other than that, he’s been solid.

      • Tommy

        I agree. I like Dempster, and his numbers have gone down steadily over the last 4 years. If you look at them as a whole, I don’t know how you can’t appreciate him. If you just look at last year, yeah, he’s a dud. But then, the entire pitching staff would look that way with the worst defense in MLB behind them last year.

        Regardless of stats, the guy is likable and appears to be a good teammate. That’s reason enough for me not to call him Dumpster.

        • JR 1908

          Ok everyone. I won’t call Dempster Dumpster anymore. I didn’t know that I would upset people by that. I will say he would be a whole lot cooler if he was more leniant with his no trade than he was last year.

    • keith

      i’d have to disagree. soriano still has value, however not at 18 million a year. it would be absolutely stupid if the cubs paid another player to play for someone else. not only would you be paying soriano and zambrano to be in another uni, you still have the return players on payroll if any. i’m starting to wonder if i am the only person that likes soriano and feel he shouldn’t be the whipping boy for everything that is wrong or has gone wrong for the cubs.

  • Brian

    Well Leyland was asking for a No.5 starter and if he thinks Garza should be trade to them like a No.5 starter he needs to be slapped in the face like in “Airplane”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Wanting a “5th” starter and a “number 5″ starter are not the same thing. If you’ve got four starters and you acquire Felix Hernandez, you didn’t just get a number five. Everyone bumps down.

      • Matt Murton

        Nailed it

        • DRock

          Is this the “real” Matt Murton? Please say it is!

  • Cheryl

    If Wells is borderline (and he sure seems to be after last year) I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s packaged with someone like Vitters i a trade.

    • DocWimsey

      Vitters has dropped so much in the ranking of Cubs’ prospects that it will have hurt his value. Even if the problem is (as some have suggested) that the initial expectations on Vitters were too high, then he still will be perceived as having “regressed.”

      At any rate, Detroit is looking for a high OPS bat and a high WAR pitcher right now; neither Vitters nor Wells fits those criteria.

  • Bren

    Call me crazy, but I kind of feel bad for Soriano. He’s being vilified for no good reason, what was he supposed to do, turn down all that money?

    • gblan014

      I agree with you. Aside from his questionable defense, he still has some life left in his bat (like it or not, he’s our cleanup guy in the lineup going into 2012). Plus, it’s widely reported that he works as hard as anybody on and off the field. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t he the one to confront Zambrano in the dugout in Atlanta last August after Z’s tirade? And yeah, anyone can preach that he makes too much money but anybody here that says they wouldn’t have taken the contract is a hypocrite.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      not at all this was what got hendry fired above all else imo even the bad move w/bradley at least it was 3 yrs………..but sori is closer than most ppl think to having h.o.f. numbers it would take 3 solid yrs to get there going back to being a d.h. is his only real shot….no i dont think he’s a h.o.f. but his numbers are better than most think……baltimore is a hitter friendly park…he’d being doing himself and the cubs a favor if he went there…..he only wants to be dealt to a contender…wow we arent considered contenders so why stay,if we dont trade him i agree bench him as often as possible he’ll get tired of it.

  • Kyle

    If Soriano could definitely replicate last year, he’s almost sort of useful. He’s got a little pop and his defense has been declining but still isn’t terrible for a LFer.

    Like you said in your post, the problem is that nobody wants to commit a roster spot to him for three years, because he looks like he might have a statistical collapse at any moment.

  • Eric S

    I know I’ll be killed for saying this, but for a team that has a slim chance of competing this year I think we keep Soriano. More teams MAY be willing to take him on if we can give him up for 2 years at 80% salary than 3. Looking on paper the sad thing is Soriano is our only true “Power” threat (I use the term loosely). Giving up Pena and Ramirez we lose 50 HR’s and paying Soriano almost his entire contract to play somewhere and give up his 20-25 HR’s doesn’t make much sense. Byrd is a free agent in the offseason and may move before then, and Jackson will get the call up. If the Cubs sign Cespedes I can see him for at least half the year play in Iowa (if not a full season in Triple A) just to get used to playing in a different country/league. This is ideally what should’ve happened with Fukudome before he was thrown to the major league team but didn’t happen. 1 MAYBE 2 more years of Soriano at the very least are needed before we can move him.

    • Spencer

      haha i agree with this (see below)

  • Spencer

    Unless the Cubs can sign an outfielder for $5M after trading Soriano that is going to match or be similar to his production, then it doesn’t seem like a smart move to trade him if that’s all the salary relief we’re going to get. Yes, he’s a defensive liability, but it would be nice if the Cubs hit at least 15 home runs as a team this season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Cubs might believe they are better overall with a five-man outfield rotation (Byrd/Sappelt/Campana/Johnson/DeJesus) than with Soriano in there at any price. And I could see that – Sappelt is no stud, but he could play great defense in left, get on base far more than Soriano, and maybe surprise on the power side. I’m not necessarily advocating it (ok, I am), but I’m saying I could see it.

      • Kyle

        I’m advocating that.

      • Spencer

        If those five players (plus Jackson) are responsible for playing OF for the Cubs this season, then I think it is going to be a very long season indeed. What’s the saying – if you have two quarterbacks and can’t decide which to start, that means you don’t have one good quarterback. What if you have six outfielders?

        • Kyle

          It’s going to be a long season no matter what. This team’s upside is 81 wins, and that’s if *everything* goes right.

    • ferrets_bueller

      The problem with that is that he’s taking up a spot. He’s a sunk cost, and its being compounded by the fact that he’s playing, and taking up a spot that could be used for someone who is actually going to be here when this team wins. You don’t have somewhere to put a guy like Brett Jackson or Sappelt, or any other potential callup, with Soriano here. Not only is his contract hurting your future, but his presence is as well. Any second of playing time that he takes away from the Cubs getting a look at a prospect or a prospect getting experience is harming the Cubs just as much as his contract is.

      This isn’t really about salary relief.

      • Spencer

        If it wasn’t about salary relief then the Cubs would have already moved him.

        • ferrets_bueller

          You’re forgetting who the GM is. He’s too smart for that- he’s going to get back whatever he can, not just dump him, until he has no other options. Needing to move him is not about salary relief- however, you want get as much in return for him, which would include salary relief or prospects.

          Moving him would not be about relieving salary, it would be about freeing up a spot. Salary relief does figure into the return on him, though. Pretty simple.

          If you’ve got something you really want to get rid of, are you going to sell it to the first person to offer you a dollar, or wait until someone offers 10 dollars, because you know someone is bound to want your junk for that much?

      • Mick

        I hate the phrase “sunk cost” when describing bad MLB contracts because it can refer to every contract since they’re all guranteed. I like your rebound though describing the opportunity cost of keeping Soriano. Also, what if we sign Cespedes? Where will we play him and Brett Jackson and who will we waive from our 40-man to make room? If Soriano underwhelms in Spring Training or in the first half of the season it will be a no brainer just to cut him.

        • Spencer

          If the Cubs sign Cespedes I would happily advocate trading Soriano. As the roster stands right now, I think it would be foolish.

          • ferrets_bueller

            Thats incredibly short-sighted and foolish. You know what you have in Soriano, and he’s not going to contribute when this team is good. His presence is only delaying the development of the future, nothing good comes from it. Even without cespedes, you need room to play and evaluate players like Jackson and Sappelt.

            • Spencer

              Sorry, I guess I don’t think that losing 80 HR and 261 RBI in the same off season is a good strategy. You advocate moving Soriano, I do not. Let’s move on.

              • DrWimsey

                They lose 80 HR only if the Replacements hit zero. That isn’t going to happen: they’ll lose 20, tops.

                It is even less meaningful to discuss “lost” RBI as RBI are a team stat and heavily influenced by the OBP of the prior three batters. Many of those runs would have scored with different batters.

                • ferrets_bueller

                  ..arguably, in the case of Ramirez, more would have scored if someone other than him had been batting with runners on.

                  And the defensive upgrade over A-ram and Soriano cannot be understated…

                  lose 20 homers over three positions, or get much better defense? I’d take the defense in a heartbeat.

                  This is just such an absurd argument, on so many levels.

                  • Spencer

                    you really don’t like people disagreeing with you, huh?

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      Here is the thing, even if we sign Cespedes, Soriano will NOT be taking at bats away from Cespedes or Jackson come Opening Day. Jackson, barring a .600/.750/1.000 kind of triple slash in ST will be starting at Iowa and he will remain there until June 15th-ish. Cespedes will probably start the year in AA.
                      If, come June 15-July 31, Jackson and Cespedes are tearing it up then you trade Byrd, move Soriano to the bench and start Cespedes and Jackson. You have the added benefit of possibly getting a little better prospect or additional salary relief if Soriano does well. At that point, if you absolutely have to, you can cut Soriano but be in no worse position than you are now.

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      Really, dude? Go troll someone else.

            • hardtop

              i see both points. It’s obvioulsy not a clean cut issue… which is kind of nice in a way: management doesnt need to labor over this decision… ’cause they’re f’d either way ;) I would ask this question though: delaying the development of whom? campana? little tony speedster isnt going to bulk up at this point in his career and all of a sudden be able to throw the baseball any appreciable distance. (becasue byrd, johnson, and the jesus are in their mid-ish 30′s i assume they are out ;)) As far as jackson goes, i have to believe, when they think he’s ready, or they are ready to see what he’s got, they will promptly bench fonzie to give him playing time. Quade’s loyalty to verterans and Hendry’s shame over fonzies contract are what kept him from being benched before. Im assuming, based on what i’ve heard from Theo, this will not happen on this team. sorianos only one man so he we cant make room for two players by offing him, we’re only going to be able to see one at a time, jackson or sappelt or whoever. I understand the value on that 40th spot on the roster but I’m not sure we have so many prospects ready, that its going to cost us the chance at developing some good young player if fonzie is there in 2012…. maybe i’m wrong.

              • DrWimsey

                Campana’s problem is his low OBP and lack of power, not his throwing arm.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Don’t get me wrong I like Campana (he’s my son’s favorite player) but I don’t think he can throw it from CF on a line over the pitchers mound. I would call that a liability. If he played everyday we would see a lot of teams going from 2B to home off a single to CF. You are correct though that he also has a problem with OBP & lack of power. I did hear that he packed on a little weight in the off season and he claims that he is even faster now.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  The arm doesn’t help.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Carlos Pena just signed with the Rays for one year and $7.25 million. This is of note to the Cubs for three reasons:

    (1) He’s now officially a former Cub. I’ll always remember him fondly.

    (2) The Cubs now officially get a sandwich pick for him. Sweet.

    (3) Had he not rejected the Cubs’ offer of arbitration, the absolute lowest contract he could have received is $8 million, and it’s far more likely that he would have received $10 to $11 million. Either he did the Cubs a very nice, pre-arranged favor, or Scott Boras terribly misread the market.

    • die hard

      do the Cubs have to pay any of this?

    • ferrets_bueller

      LMAO, Boras’ offseason nightmare just got worse.

    • JB88

      I’m leaning toward (3) given that Fielder is still unsigned.

      This has not been Boras’ best off-season, or at least it hasn’t been to date. Let’s see if he can once again pull a mega contract out of his hat.

      • Mick

        In Boras’ defense, it’s tough to make chicken salad out of chicken $hit.

        • JB88

          You must be eating some stellar chicken salad, because I wouldn’t call either Pena or Fielder chicken shit …

    • Alex

      Brett, any word on where the Cubs will have this pick in the supplemental round with the Rays signing Pena?

  • die hard

    I am sure Theo et al have considered this, but would a restructure of Sorianos contract make him more keepable or tradable? Would he agree to spreading out his payments over 10 years for instance?

    • ferrets_bueller

      I think you’re much better off paying it all now, than spreading it out. You aren’t going to win now, so get it over with before you have built a core and need the money to add pieces.

      • DocWimsey

        Also, the union has to approve any contract restructurings. Something this radical might not get through.

      • Kyle

        Paying less now and more later is always better, mathematically, if you are paying the same nominal amount. (Well, unless the economy is deflating, which it isn’t).

        • DocWimsey

          Which is why the union probably would not approve such a contract restructuring. Effectively, Sori would be taking a paycut: and it’s the union’s duty to prevent that if they can.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Well, technically, how much more would determine that- if they adjust the future payments to have a higher present value of future cash flows than if they were paid now, it could still be worse. But really, thats just the nominal value of the contract- it doesn’t take into account the intangible effects and influences of our current situation- you’re better off getting the contract over with right now than letting in linger when you’re actually able to contend, even if it means that the roughly 50 million you’re paying now in a lump sum is worth more than the same amount spread out over the contract- Its worth more to both parties at present, because of the future benefits to the Cubs.

        • Mick

          Soriano has already demonstrated his self-centeredness by rejecting a trade to the Orioles, a situation where he won’t be booed every game and he’ll be in the best situation to succeed as a regular DH. There’s no way he’s going to agree to spread out his $54 million over ten years. Even so, how would that help his trade value? If a team isn’t willing to pay him $5 million for 1 year why would they be willing to pay him $5 million for ten? I think the better strategy in getting him to waive his no-trade clause would be to accelerate his contract by paying him $30 million this year, $20 million next year, and $4 million in 2014. At least then the greedy SOB can immediately earn interest on the millions he would have otherwise had to wait on.

          • TWC

            Hey, Mick, say I was your employer and I told you that I wanted to transfer you to Baltimore because I wanted to give someone else a chance at your job.  The Baltimore position would be essentially the same for you: no raise, no change in benefits, nothing.  You just had to move.  Would you do it?  How would you feel about people dismissing your unwillingness to move as “self-centeredness”?

            • EQ76

              great reply TWC… we all rush off to judge too much about players. besides, who the hell would want to go play for Baltimore.???

              • Wilbur

                Amen …

            • Rick Vaughn

              Exactly. TWC is absolutely right.

            • Mick

              If my employer had paid me $95 million over the last 5 years and still was set to pay me $54 million more yes, I would move to Baltimore. More than just the appreciation and loyalty for signing me to the original contract and setting up my family for generations to come I would also look forward to a work situation where I wouldn’t be booed everyday and I would be in the best position to succeed based on my skill set.

              Has anyone ever been to Baltimore? Camden Yards is one of the best ballparks in the country and you’re within a 2 hour drive of Philly, NYC, DC, Boston, Ocean City, and Rehoboth Beach. The east-coast loves baseball and would appreciate Soriano for what he’s worth considering we’d pick up 80% of his remaining contract.

              • JulioZuleta

                Booooo

              • Rick Vaughn

                Whether it’s $20 thousand or $20 million, if the guy wants to stay in Chicago, he’ll stay in Chicago. I’m sure he has his reasons, many of which probably have nothing to do with baseball.

                That’s cool that you’re so willing to uproot your family and move to another city because your boss wants you too. Just don’t expect everyone else to be so willing. He signed that contract expecting to live in Chicago for the next 8 years. I don’t blame him for a second for turning down a trade to Baltimore.

                I’ve seen The Wire.

                That being said, I sure hope he accepts a trade somewhere. No more blindly swinging at balls in the dirt three feet out of the strike zone. I’m done with that.

                • JulioZuleta

                  Plus, you mentioned that you would be loyal to those that gave you the contract. The Trib, McDonough, and Hendry are all gone now, and they’ve been replaced by a regime who is trying very hard to trade you. I’m not arguing with the sentiment, but it’s as if your boss gave you a great contract, then sold the company and the new owner is making it his first order of business to sned you far, far away for pennies on the dollar.

                  • Mick

                    Yes, the Trib, McDonough, and Hendry are gone but the fans still remain and isn’t that who’s really footing the bills?

                    I understand that everyone is different and Soriano can contractually do whatever the hell he wants to but as a fan I’m pissed. If one of the reasons for him declining a trade to Baltimore was he didn’t want to uproot his family then why would he accept a trade anywhere else? In my eyes, it’s because he’s self-centered. He only cares about himself. He’d be willing to uproot his family to go to NY, Bos, Det, Tex, Anaheim, etc. just so HE could win a ring.

                    Ever since yesterday when I heard he used his no-trade clause on Baltimore I’ve been stewing. I think I’ve said MORE than my two cents so, I’ll shut up now.

                    • Wilbur

                      No the owner is footing the bill. The price we pay is only emotional …

  • Lou

    Brett, you said earlier that there’s a mystery team in on the Garza rumors. Could that team be the Rockies?

    • JB88

      I’m hoping it is Kansas City. That would be farm system I’d love to pillage.

      • Spencer

        I really like the word pillage for some reason. I think it’s under used nowadays since we don’t have Vikings and other roving hoards of barbarians. I now support pillaging Kansas City.

        • Wilbur

          Rickets: Theo! What is best in life? Theo: To crush your enemies (in KC?), see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.

      • ferrets_bueller

        That wouldn’t be consistent with what Dayton Moore has said, though. Allegedly, he wants to wait another year before acquiring pitching, in order to get a better read on the fairly large supply of young potential SP that they have in AAA/MLB.
        I also doubt the guys we’d like to have (particularly a guy like Mil Myers) would be available anyways.

      • JulioZuleta

        The Royals make some sense, especially if it goes to arb and Garza is making less than $8 mil. The AL Central is very winnable, and the Royals honestly have more prospects than they will be able to field; some of them will have to be traded.

    • Mick

      The Rockies just traded Slowey to the Indians freeing up around $2.5 million, probably not enough to acquire Garza especially since now they’re rumored to be deep in negotiations with Boston to acquire Marco Scuturo. The Rockies are DEEP in prospect pitching though and adding Garza would put them neck and neck with Arizona and San Francisco in thier division.

      This leads me to Boston. Trading Scuturo would free up $6 million for Boston who is still in need of front line starting pitching. Garza and Clevenger (Theo compensation) for Middlebrooks and Renaudo.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    no the idea would be to have a full time job that you love to do or a part time job you could watch others do…..its not like asking a factory worker making 35k to uproot his family to take a job making 35k in another state….its not a fair comparisin…hes a dh if we were an american league team this wouldnt be such an issue.

  • pfk

    Actually, Soriano is indeed tradable but it will probably take packaging a good prospect along with him. A prospect who will pay long term benefits to the club that takes Soriano and a portion of his contract. It isn’t just Soriano and bust as many portray it. There are several ways to work a deal, which they will certainly do before the season starts. One of the reasons for all the no name/low recognition deals they made is having a low paying roster that, then with the amount they have to eat on these deals, brings the budget in line – even if not competitive. They aren’t going to eat these salaries and not count them against this year’s budget. However, it allows them to get young, change the culture and build for the long haul. Then, they can plug a hole with a free agent down the line. Got to start this org from scratch fellas – painful though it might be. You’ll see, they will make a deal for Soriano.

  • Eric S

    Don’t forget Brett the Cubs are still “favorites” to land Cespedes. That makes it a 6-7 man possible outfield. I was also thinking to myself I wonder if Rizzo or Lahair can play outfield if they both come out and monster springs. This way you can plug them both in the lineup without having to sit one guy over another. It worked in Cincy with Yonder Alonso going from 1st to Left (not preferred but he did it) plus Lance Berkman made the move. Again not ideal but if you have two guys that share a position and hit the ball well I think maybe one of them would move to the outfield too. Now you have a 7-8 man outfield. I still think Soriano is a Cub for 2012 and perhaps at least in part for 2013 (midseason move)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cespedes, especially if he comes to a “rebuilding-ish” team like the Cubs, will definitely be spending some time in the minors. Eventually the crowded outfield would be an issue, but not right away.

  • ty

    Yesterday was first day at HoHoKam to get our 3 spring training passes/tickets for all the games. Expecting usual long lines-one person at the lonely ticket window. Pastry and coffee offered by these nice people. Ticket prices remain very reasonable so plan to come to Phoenix–70 degrees today. Fitch field busy with boys in blue today.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is awesome to hear.

  • EtotheR

    Let’s not forget something…we may hate the contract, but all Sorano did was negotiate a salary. While it’s turned out to be a stink sandwich for us, it’s not like he’s been a horrible teammate or dogged it in the field. He simply doesn’t have the skills to live up to a deal that was negotiated by two parties.

    With the money already committed…why not put him into a reserve rotation? It’s basically the same thing as sending him off and eating the contract. The money is gone…let’s identify the best way to use him, even if it’s in a utility/all-purpose role.

    But…don’t boo him. It’s a bad contract…life goes on.

    • Brian

      I think Soriano has been under the spot light on multiple occasions for not playing the game 100% the right way all the time. ie Watching homers become singles, letting runners advance because of not running to get a ball hit to him. I’m sure the good posters on here have many more examples.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If the Cubs can’t save at least $9 million by moving him ($3 mill per year – and I mean that’s the MINIMUM), that’s what I would endorse. A rotation. There will be more interleague games in 2013, so at least he’d have more DH at bats.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        not unlikely sori leads the team in HR and RBI… sad but true

  • Frank

    If Soriano doesn’t want to go to Baltimore, it’s his right to say no–because the Cubs gave him that right. There’s no use in being angry at him for exercising a right the team gave him–that’s why they negotiate no-trade clauses–so they don’t have to go someplace they don’t want to go.

    Everything I’ve read about Soriano is that he’s a very good teammate and he works hard off the field. No, he doesn’t fit into the long term plan, and no, his skills at this point in his career don’t match the money he makes. But if I were him, I would’ve taken the money, and so would any one of us if we were in his position. Arguably, it’s worse to pay him to play somewhere else and get nothing in return than it is to pay him and get what you can out of him, especially since that contract essentially kills any trade value he might have. Boo him when he doesn’t make an effort on the field–but not for his contract.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      you speak the truth, and that goes for any player regardless what they make

  • jim

    Yu,yo! The mlb baseball is larger than japanese version! Who bats cleanup for the cubs?

  • OHBearCub

    Work a deal with the Yankee’s!!!
    Send Soriano and eat 85% of his contract in return we take Burnett and his contract. He has two years remaining Sori has 3 the money becomes a wash almost. They get there DH that the are looking for but can only spend $2m on because they are gonna get killed on the luxury tax. The Yankee’s don’t want Burnett almost as much as we don’t want Sori. To sweeten the deal we can send them any pitcher they want out of our bullpen. Except for Woodie. Marmol can’t go because of his $$. Let them have whomever they want bullpen only. None of them are that special.

    Get Selig to fix the Theo boondoggle and send a player along with Garza to the Redsox for a package of prospects that suits Theo and Jed. Call it done unless you get them to trade Byrd. I would wait til the deadline on him. I would trade Kerry Wood at the deadline as well maybe back to the Yankee’s for a pitcher. That way Kerry can get an WS ring.

    • Dane

      Why would we eat that much of Soriano’s deal AND pay for Burnett? Doesn’t make sense

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      not on this planet

    • JulioZuleta

      Yeah, that would cost us an extra $33 million. It would have to be something like Soriano and 20%-25% for Burnett. At 20%, we would save $10 million.

    • 2much2say

      First 85% of Soriano is about 46.8 mil = 7.2 mil cost to Yanks plus 33 mil for Burnett.
      The Cubs would have to pay 79.8 mil and only get Burnett? Yanks get Sori 3 yr 7.2 mil

  • JulioZuleta

    Between Garza, Dempster, Marmol, Soto, Soriano, Byrd, and possibly LaHair if he can have a good start to the year, there could be a flurry of in-season trades. With another half season off their contracts, and the inevitable injury bug that will bite a few of the contenders (16-20 teams still consider themselves contenders in June/July) we could really clean up and set ourselves up nicely going forward. I only wish Hendry hadn’t been so gun shy. He never knew when to sell.

  • 2much2say

    SOLUTION: Keep Soriano, bat him 3rd, Take him out after 3 at bats, don’t play him against pitchers who he struggles against. Jackson gets experience and 200 at bats.
    Soriano gets approx.430 at bats. You get 100 RBI’s and 30 plus HR from left field.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      that sounds like a fix too. it kinda takes us away from that desperate place we seem to go when talking about moving sori. i think there are plenty of creative ways to use him within the 40 man roster.

    • JulioZuleta

      So just insert Jackson in the 6th or 7th every game? That doesn’t seem like the best way to develop a young player. Soriano still has some value, but what good do his 25 HR and 75-80 RBI do for us this year and next, ya know? They’re in no huge rush to dump him, I think they’ll explore every possible option, and if it comes down to it, trade him for the best offer and save a couple million. I don’t forsee a “bad-contract” swap though, just doesn’t accomplish much for this team.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        i agree with you on everything except that we will definatly need some run production from somewhere this year. every man on the field is a gamble

      • Duke11

        Totally agree- there is no “desperate” place that we go to with Soriano. He is not part of the solution so cut bait for whatever it costs to do so and move on. I understand he will give us homeruns and rbi’s, but to a team in the position that ours is currently in, an open spot in left field to work in the successor is more valuable than any years worth of homeruns or rbi’s.

  • Mike F

    People insist on the concept of LaHair, over 162 games, I think people will see LaHair is not anything remotely close to a MLB everyday player. He’s a feel good guy like Bobby Scales. So if indeed we have to eat Soriano, which it looks more and more like we will and they want to give Rizzo 80 games in the minors, give Soriano a 1B mitt and let him platoon at first. That would be humbling and maybe it saves his legs enough to stir some interest.

    The option is get him to consider a minor relief pay in todays dollars contract that would result in his release. If the Cubs traded him, it sounds like they would immediately have eaten 47M and that’s kind of the acceleration they have made room for. So why not just go ahead and accelerate say 50M and eat the whole damn thing, not fool around, write it all off and be done with it. Now having turned down Baltimore, he’s made there position even harder and factually absent an incredible rejuvenation or should I say juicination, Alfonso, isn’t going to have anyone want to take the out years on his contract. I think we just have to face the obvious, either we will have a sore thumb platoon player or the most expensive PH in the history of baseball. The time has come to just get whatever relief if any can be obtained and eat the damn thing in my view.

  • Cubsin

    I think Jed and Theo want to trade one of Soriano and Byrd now and keep the other one until Jackson and/or Cespedes are deemed ready for MLB, and not coincedently have lost a potential year of service time.

    Byrd reportedly has shed 40 pounds and achieved a high degree of fitness. He probably won’t eat a faceburger this year. I’d prefer to keep him for a few months and see if he’s an improved ballplayer. The only way I think Soriano could improve would be to switch to a much lighter bat, and trade a few home runs for a higher OBP.

    So I’d prefer to keep Byrd for a while and either dump Soriano now, or use him as a spare outfielder/PH/DH. The extra interleague games would give him a reasonable number of at-bats.

    • Ryan

      Im pretty sure its going to be easier to trade Byrd than trade Soriano.

  • 2much2say

    Fine, Play Soriano as much as possible til the trade deadline play him at 2nd 1st RF LF and hope that he does well,. Increasing his value and minimizing the Cubs loss.. Now there’s 2 1/2 yrs left then 2 yrs before you know it he’s gone. In the meantime they still need to build a winner and if that’s 3 yrs down the road so be it.

  • Ryan

    If you bring up Jackson before June 25thish he needs to play everyday otherwise keep him in the minors playing everyday

  • Teri shannon

    The problem with Sori is that he never tried to improve the things fans hate about him which is lackadaisical play and never running hard. Any player should be able to convey that on the field like Marlon Byrd does. We don’t feel as bad when Byrd busts his butt and is thrown out at first while Soriano lopes down the baseline. I despise players like that and it is an insult to common folks who make 30,000 dollars a year. Sori never busted his butt and that is why most fans dislike him on the field.

    • Pat

      Stop mainlining Bob Brenley. I guarantee you Soriano is working just as hard as anyone on that field. His legs are shot. Done. He can not move faster than he does anymore. That’s the risk of signing a 31 year old to an 8 year deal.

      • BetterNews

        Pat–I’d have to agree with Teri on this one. What do you mean his legs are shot? I’m not aware of any major surgery he has had on his legs. No, it’s a complete lack of motivation on his part as he figures as long as he’s hitting HR’s that’s good enough.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I would say it lies somewhere in-between. He did have some hamstring problems but now it almost looks like he is afraid to push them anymore.

        • Pat

          And how, exactly, did you determine that it is a lack of motivation?

          • BetterNews

            I didn’t determine it. 40,000 fans on a given day can’t be wrong.

  • Mike F

    I think what he means is Soriano derived a lot of his power from his legs. And over the last few years he’s had more than his share of leg, hamstring and muscle issues. He’s not a big guy with huge arms and a huge upper body. So the fact like an aging QB who derives his throwing from his legs or a pitcher, the age is showing in him slowing down, sudden movement, he’s not going to be able to play in the field. Add to it, as we all know, most Latin players seem to subtract years, and the possibility is Soriano is older than his age. I wouldn’t accuse him of loafing. I don’t think that’s his issue. Now that said I also wouldn’t accuse him of being an intelligent baseball wise and fundamentally sound player. I don’t think when they signed him they were concerned that he would look more like 40 at this stage and bluntly they were looking more than anything to win a World Series and to sell the team. And in year 1 if you remember he looked pretty darn tough before his muscle issue as I remember and they did win 97 games. To his credit in 2007 and 2008 Steve Stone was saying to anyone who would listen Hendry was making too many mistakes. At the same time, he was touting Epstein and raving about that model.

    • BetterNews

      I don’t buy it. All hitters use ther legs to drive through the ball, and all hitters have hamstring, groin, and other issues. Look back at Andre Dawson. He was not a big guy. He was tall at 6’3″ but only weighed 180 lbs. Look at what he went through. Injections to to make it on the field, yet I would take the “Hawk” over Soriano any day at the same age. At soriano’s age, what 35, he wouldn’t make a pimple on the ass of a 35 year on Dawson.

      • Cubbie Blues

        The Hawk was one of my favourite players. He was a man amongst boys. If we could field 7 of him on the field (don’t want his knees behind the plate). We would be perennially be in the post season.

      • Pat

        So you would take Andre Dawson (1987) over Alfonso Soriano? You have my vote for GM. I didn’t know that was an option.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Oh yes, as GM I would go 88 mph in my Delorean and bring my cloning machine with me. We would be unstoppable (until the pain killers ran out).

          Get bent. I was partially reminiscing when I really started becoming a fan and enjoying baseball. It was supposed to be light hearted.

          • BetterNews

            Cubbie Blues–I’m sure 99.9% of us knew what you meant. I think Pat has too much going on right now to think clearly.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Thanks, on a lighter side I just saw where Shawon Dunston Jr. is a spring training invite (he got the call today (just to bring it back around to the 80′s (I thought I would also do an embeded parentheses (just to see what all the hubbub was all about (did I do it right Bret (I really didn’t do well in English))))).

              • Cecil

                isn’t that incredibly early for him – he’s 18 & would be just headed to college if he hadn’t signed, right? what’s the point in that kind of try-out? seems like it’s a strong play on family ties move & nothing more. why would the organization do that to a kid who seems to have eventual upside (but who one would expect is nowhere near ready)?

                • Cubbie Blues

                  He was then asked where he thought he would end up and responded with “bosie” (sp) (he’ll need to learn how to spell Boise) in short season.

                  Yes, it is very early for him. It is his first year as a pro ball. He will go to mini on Feb 25th first. Short season starts in June.

                • Ryan

                  Its early but it gives the first year players a taste of what its like to be in big league camp

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    From the sound of it he is very excited. He said, “Guess I’ll have to learn to cook.” (Just to show what adjustments they have to make)

                • Rick Vaughn

                  I remember the Cubs doing the same thing with Ryan Harvey and other top picks. Could have been a dream, but I’m pretty sure it happened.

                  Either way, it couldn’t hurt to let some of these young high-upside guys be around the Major League players to see how they prepare. To see what kind of attitude and work ethic it takes to be a Major League player. Lots of these kids have probably been breezing by on natural talent alone up to this point. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to let them see how guys like Soriano and Byrd get ready for the long schedule ahead.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I could see that. At that age it usually doesn’t matter who our parents are, they still don’t listen. It takes an outside source to show how it is done.

                    Byrd I can see, but Soriano? I guess I’ve never heard what he does to prepare for the season.

                    • DocWimsey

                      lol, “at that age?”  My parents went to their graves without ever listening to any of us!

                      Almost all of these guys do the same thing to prepare for seasons: they work with personal trainers on a variety of things for strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.  Most clubs try to encourage players to take a month or so off after the season, as working out all year can have some bad side-effects (not letting injuries heal properly, etc.).  And, of course, the old-school still scoffs at this: they didn’t work out during the off-season and (they are convinced) they didn’t suffer all the injuries that modern players suffer.

            • Rick Vaughn

              Pat blows goats, I have proof.

              • BetterNews

                Ha!

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Mike,

      I think Soriano’s problem is that he has lost bat speed. This requires him to start his swimg earlier leaving him very succeptible to breaking pitches.

      • Cubbie Blues

        If that is the case then he needs to start not using the heaviest bat in almost all of baseball but it goes further than that because it still doesn’t account for his movement on the bases and in the field.

        • Rick Vaughn

          BOOM!!! Exactly. Many of beer cans have hit my tv screen because of that god damn bat. Once he starts his swing, that’s it, it’s over. No pulling back, no adjustments. Sliders kill him (unless he’s on one of those superman streaks). I love/hate the guy so much. If he’d just switch to a lighter bat it would all be turkey gravy for me and Phonzy.

  • Ivy Walls

    Hitting power is mostly derived from bat speed in the hitting zone, enhanced or complimented by the force that is derived by the release of power engineered by the bodies release of stored energy that in part is made up a bodies strength producing leverage. Now it is known that a heavier player will be able to hit the ball farther and in that lies the heavier a bat, The formula for inertia is: Force = Mass times Acceleration (F = ma)

    So in part Soriano uses the games heaviest bat to generate some power. A loss is that he has to start his bat earlier than some who use a lighter bat.

    Legs are part of it but Soriano generates his body power through a release of his hips and the holding the leverage point.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Just to preface, I think he is a great guy, but he is just ageing (and not gracefully). He needs to make adjustments. What he did as a younger player just isn’t holding up any longer.

      I understand the physics (F=ma), but it doesn’t matter if you don’t get the bat on the ball. You can generate all the force you want but if you don’t use it to change the direction of the ball (an object (the ball) stays in motion until another force is acted against it) you are going to strike out.

      I would rather see him hit less home runs and get more singles than to strike out so often.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Soriano needs to use a lighter bat. He has no business swinging that club he uses now at his age. That thing is ridiculous. Either get on the juice, or get a smaller bat. Guarantee he becomes a useful major league hitter again if he does that.

  • Mike F

    Great conversation, but in the end, we folks have got what Soriano was worth in terms of bang for the buck. They got the big seasons and now having missed the window, we really didn’t get it when was there to get. Call it window dressing or call it opportunity missed. Call it poor evaluation in that we never really got the 45 HR or 30 SB guy they Yankees and Nationals saw. We got the defense they did see though. And I buy the mechanics and physics of it, very bright and intriguing. The problem is though, he’s carrying a 54 Million price tag, and I think we can all stipulate like Sammy and so many Latin players he’s probably a little older than 35. How much who knows?

    But the point is no one is going to pay much if any of 2013 and none of 2014. So it comes down to what he has left, and if there is any relief in anyway to be had. And therein is why given the Cubs are willing to eat most of his 54 M, up to at least 70% his turning down an Oriole trade is so insulting. If someone wants a guy who is worth 9M at most over 3 years and the Cubs are willing to eat most of his salary, it’s really kind of insane that he would turn down a trade. I have no issue with letting him be the highest paid bench player in MLB and vegetate. If you look at the reality and computer regressions or model, I’m sure, for Theo to be willing to eat the kind of money they will to trade him, Sorianos liability days far exceed his asset days. So much so, had they moved him before Crisp was a better option and the rumored if unknown player they will trade for if he’s cleared to another team.

    And keep this in mind, we the fans of the Chicago Cubs are going to pay the freight in a lower payroll and forgone asset acquisition for Soriano and clearing the rest of his salary. Instead of caring a 140-160 M payroll to be competitive, it’s pretty obvious they have cleared enough space to eat most of his salary this year in practical terms whether written off for accounting purposes in more years than one or not. So yes, if someone is willing to pay Alfonso his 18 M, namely Cub fans, and clearly isn’t worth it, he’s not as nice as some of you think. I understand the dictates of contracts and the legal aspects, but after the fans have paid over 90M to the guy, at least a good portion of it overpaid in any practical terms, it takes a big set of balls to say no to a deal that the fans would have to pay anyway. And yes I feel better having said all that. And while I don’t think Soriano is a bad team mate or a bad guy, I think his action is an insult to those who paid his freight. But that was one of the weaknesses of Hendry. He was the bell boy running a elderly country club and anger management clinic along with Dr. Kenney.

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