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Last year during rumor season, Alfonso Soriano’s name was among the hottest. Not because of his attractiveness to other teams, mind you, but because of the Cubs’ theoretical desire to be parted from him. That is likely to be true again this year.

Like last year, among the hurdles to making such a parting happen (the largest of which is the $48 million the Cubs still owe him through 2014) is the no-trade clause in Soriano’s contract. And, like last year, Soriano has suggested that he doesn’t necessarily intend to invoke it if the Cubs try to send him to a contender. From the Sun-Times:

“I’m 36 years old, so, yeah, I would like to have the opportunity to … if they want to trade me, I hope it is to a team that’s a contender because it’s about trying to go for that ring,” Soriano said before the Cubs’ third consecutive loss. “You want to feel good, feel like maybe you got a chance for that if we don’t have a chance here. But like I said, it depends on them. I don’t control the situation.”

Well, um, yes you do. But we know what you’re saying.

Soriano’s been in two World Series before, both losers with the Yankees. You could understand why he might be interested in being on a winner one of these years, especially considering, as he said, he’s 36. And, for the same reason, you can understand why the Cubs would be willing to oblige him.

But, here’s the thing about no-trade rights: no matter what guys say, they like to use them. And why shouldn’t they? The rights were earned, either by virtue of contract or 10/5 rights, and it’s hard to begrudge a guy for being where he wants to be. The problem for the Cubs, even if Soriano is willing, generally, to waive his rights, is they’re going to have a very limited group of teams to whom they could even try to trade Soriano. The list is almost exclusively in the AL, and limited to teams who really need a DH upgrade (and whose DH situation, at present, is dire). With that kind of limited market, maybe the Cubs are able to put together only one deal. And maybe that deal is with a team – the one team – to which Soriano is unwilling to go.

In other words, it’s nice to know he’s open to the idea of being traded, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Fantasizing about a nice return remains a foolish endeavor. If the Cubs can deal him and save a few million, that’s probably a deal best accepted. If they pick up a non-useless prospect in the process, that’s just the thickest kind of gravy.

At least Soriano’s been hitting well of late. That certainly can’t hurt things.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Remember, this is the guy who, for about 45 minutes, thought that he’d hit a WS winning HR.  I’ll bet he’s never felt so high in his life: it’s a small wonder he wants a shot to get back to that.

  • Magilljl

    That’s all well and good but, like you said, actually trading him will prove to be no small feat. But I would love to see him moved. Pains me to watch him hobble around in LF game after game. Especially after the two games this weekend where his misplays were a direct impact on the final scoreboard.

  • willis

    Here’s hoping a DH is needed somewhere. Yesterday was just ridiculous watching him move around how he was. He couldn’t get to much and then when he did it took forever to stop his momentum. It’s painful to watch and I feel badly for him. But at this point, he’s nothing more than a DH and if the Cubs are willing to ear 80% or so of the money left, there has to be a someone willing to take .250-.260, 25ish HRs and 80ish RBI.

  • Frank

    My thoughts are the opposite. They have no reason to salary dump, so if they could get a few decent or even fringy prospects, they should be willing to eat as much salary as necessary. Regardless of where Soriano spends the 2013-2014 seasons, the Cubs will be paying him 18 mil a pop to do so. This being said, why not try and parlay that into some prospects rather than a cut waiting to happen, be it next spring or summer with nothing to show for it?

  • Ryan

    Is there a team that is even remotely desperate enough?!?

    • Cub Style

      The A’s.

      • Diesel

        I already spoke to Billy Beane about it last game I went to.  He said no to the idea of Soriano and cash for a bag of infield dirt.  I was bummed out.

        • Cub Style

          Probably doesn’t want to send down Magnante again.

          • Diesel

            Have you ever seen the A’s Roster?  Their whole team spends half of every season at AAA every year.  I kid you not I went to an A’s game last year then went to a Sacramento Rivercats game a month later and watched the same players.  Billy Beane doesn’t mind sending people back and forth.

            • Cub Style

              It’s a Moneyball joke. lol

        • Cubs Dude

          He would fit right in with the Oakland way though; garbage defence, they would get him on the cheap, he can’t run, and no one else values him. It’s a perfect match. Ooops, there is that obp thing though…

          • Cub Style

            Their team OBP is .288

            • Cubs Dude

              Then he’ll fit like a glove. They must have done away with their team being built around obp players then… No More money ball? Seems to have worked well for them recently.

              • Cub Style

                No, they just suck.

                • Cubs Dude

                  Gotcha, then he would be a natural fit.

  • Cubmig

    I still say play Soriano till his leg falls off. HIs is a no-win situation. He still can give a thumbs up or thumbs down on any trade proposed, so where it counts, we lose. He can be benched, but he still collects what’s owed. Again, we lose. He can play and muck things up, and while he’s made to “earn” his pay, we still “lose”. And even if a trade is worked out and agreed to, my bet is we eat most (all?) of what’s owed him…..and yep, once again we lose. I am sure though, if he’s traded or gone because of some other reason, we will end up feeling “we won”.

  • Cubs Dude

    The only team I think would have any intrerest in Sori would have to be Baltimore. But didn’t he block a trade there already? Or was that speculation? They may be deperate to be relevant, and have a bit of a need with all their injuries.

  • Carew

    I hope he would accept a trade to Baltimore. Theyre competitive but still need a bat since Reynolds has done nothing. Plus Id still be able to watch him play

    • Joe

      I could envision a Sori trade to Baltimore for sure. Quite plausible.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      He turned a trade down to them in the offseason. Shows you what he thinks they are talent wise.

      • Crockett

        He did? That’s news to me.

    • CCunt

      The O’s have a snowball’s chance in hell of staying in the AL East race by the trade deadline

  • JP

    I’m ready for august baseball for the Cubs. It’s depressing to watch a lineup with absolutely nothing remotely entertaining going to happen. At least in august there could be at least a glimmer of hope an entertainment with a lineup including BJax, Rizzo, and Vitters if he keeps it up. As of right now I feel like the Cubs are stealing from anyone who goes to a couple games a year or orders a bigger cable package to get WGN to watch this motley crüe. That is all

  • MichCubFan

    He is hitting well right now, but i don’t think his knee problems will help the chances of moving him….of course that will be hard enough in the first place with his contract and all.

  • CUB5

    No one would want him in the first place, but I’m not convinced he deserves a shot at a WS. Sorry, I know it’s harsh. That’s just the bitterness in me of having him on the North Side for so many years…

    • Jerry Turner

      why so bitter? that guy help us get two divisions in 07 and 08.
      He was the least of our problems.
      Considering all the crap this guy takes from idiots like you could he handle it any better?’
      No.

  • Joshua Edwards

    I wonder if the Yanks want Garza bad enough that, with their limited prospects, they’d kick in more change and take Soriano in a trade, too.

  • Ogyu

    Alfonso is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender. Now if the Cubs could just find a contender willing to waive its no sucking clause…

    • hardtop

      i have never written this… but that made me laugh out loud.  my co workers think im stoned

      • TWC

        You’re suggesting they’re wrong?

    • Jerry Turner

      Ogyu,

      In case you’ve haven’t noticed and you haven’t.
      Soriano is hitting .314 with 12 homers and 22 rbi in the last month you dumb fuck.

      • @cubsfantroy

        Well that was childish of you.

      • Ogyu

        It was a joke, oh wise one. Please don’t take it too seriously.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just because he did the name-calling thing doesn’t mean you have to reciprocate.

          • Ogyu

            Better? ;)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        You can make that point without the name-calling.

  • art

    everyone keeps saying the Cubs would/should eat most of his contract. why can’t he give up his last year and ok a trade? he’d be gone yesterday.
    wasn’t there an AL pitcher (recently) who had a year or two left on a guaranteed contract or was offered one. refused/gave the money back and retired. saying it would be very easy to take the money and sit or be DL’ ed all year. saying he wasn’t that kind of a guy.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Players void their contracts when they retire.  The union would (and should) never allow a player to give up part of his contract while he still is playing.

    • Kyle

      The player’s union will never, ever allow that to happen. It’s not allowed in the CBA, so they’d have to give their blessing, and they won’t.

      They wouldn’t when A-Rod tried something similar to get traded to Boston.

    • King Jeff

      I think it was Gil Meche. Doc is right, they can’t give up money on a contract if they are still playing, especially one that pays as much as Soriano. The union would throw a fit and void any kind of deal done that way, just like they did with ARod to Boston.

  • Spoda17

    NO chance anyone wants Sori… who are we kidding…

    • King Jeff

      I don’t really see it either. If his knees weren’t so bad and on display how bad they are every day, then we might be able to move him. Nobody wants him if he’s that damaged.

  • Leroy K.

    Soriano and our #6 draft pick for Weiters? Damn that was a good dream….anyway!!!

    • calicubsfan007

      I wouldnt want to waste the 6 overall pick. I am not sure exactly about the trading of draft picks, I am sure it isnt like the NFL. What is the value of the draft picks in the MLB and can teams trade these draft picks?

      • Kyle

        They cannot be traded. A small number of new draft picks will be given to small-market teams beginning next year, and those will be able to be traded, but no other picks can be traded.

      • Leroy K.

        oh I have no idea your probably right, they probably aren’t the same. I was just trying to see how we could make Soriano into a formidable deal that helps us. The problem I have is I don’t even know where to begin with this team.

      • djriz

        Almora, if signed, could not be traded for a year.

  • Toby

    The only chance that the Cubs would be able to move Soriano would be to DL him and allow his knee to rest.

  • calicubsfan007

    Again, I say the Cubs accept a trade for a bag of balls. That’s the kind of pitches Sori swings at. Okay, I know lame. Seriously though, Cubs pay 80-90 percent, the other team gives us a couple decent prospects. Could happen.

  • MightyBear

    The Draft is only a half hour away. I’m all tingly.

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