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I wrote about the Melky Cabrera suspension and the instantly-jumped-to-conclusion regarding Alfonso Soriano heading to the Giants yesterday. There, I basically said Soriano has already told the Cubs he wouldn’t accept a trade to the Giants, so I’m not sure why that would change now.

And, le sigh, that’s pretty much what Soriano said when he was swarmed by reporters after yesterday’s game.

“I don’t think so,” Soriano said when asked if he’d reconsider going to the San Francisco Giants. “San Francisco is not good weather to play in. It’s on the West Coast and I’ve never played on the West Coast. We’ll see what happens if they call. I’ll talk to my family then and see. It’s not my call. I know it’s 50 percent my call, but it’s my family’s, too. I’d talk to my family and see what happens.”

In black and white, the quotes seem to leave open the possibility that Soriano could still change his mind and head to San Francisco (if they come calling, that is), but apparently everyone in attendance took his words the same way: he’s not going to San Francisco.

So, even if the Cubs line up a deal that they feel improves the team and the organization for the long term, and puts Soriano in a great position to be in the thick of a playoff race not only this season, but in the near future, it could all be totally fruitless.

Now, I understand if your natural urge is to feel like this:

I’ve got a little Angry Panda in me, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry at Soriano. These 10/5 no-trade rights are a collectively bargained thing, and he’s earned the right to wield them however he wants. He doesn’t have to consider any deal.

But, even if I’m not angry at him, I’m certainly frustrated. On a personal level, I don’t understand why guys cling to a sinking ship rather than take the opportunity to be moved into a playoff race. I’m a competitive guy, and I can’t imagine saying no to going from a bottom three team to the heat of a pennant race. I suppose I get the family considerations – especially where, in Soriano’s case, he’s got two more years on his deal – but let’s get some things straight on that. As a baseball player, you spend only half of your year in the city where your team is based, and half of THAT time is actually spent all over the country on the road.

You’re going to play baseball only so long in your life: don’t you want to win while you do it?

Again, I don’t want to be mis-read here. Soriano can do what he wants, and I’m not going to criticize his choice. Still, I can’t help but voice my lack of understanding. Maybe there’s something I just don’t get.

This doesn’t mean Soriano can’t or won’t be dealt, mind you. But, to date, a deal with the Giants might have been the most realistic option. Maybe Soriano will change his mind, or maybe another team will pop up with a good offer. (Soriano says the Cubs have not approached him about any other possibilities since July 31.)

Or maybe the Cubs will keep Soriano, and revisit the issue in the offseason. He’s been productive, has improved his defense, and isn’t currently blocking any prospects. Keeping him in 2013 is still not a terrible idea.

  • Glenallen Hill’s One Home Run

    Does he like getting unfairly booed?

    In all honesty, the only thing I can come up with is that maybe he really does like the people on the team here, enough to not want to move on. I certainly can’t fault him for liking the Cubs TOO much.

    • J. Edwards

      Agreed.

      And I also agree with Brett. I think anyone in MLB is competitive by nature–I think that’s what drove them to be great enough to play at that level.

      But Soriano’s case is different: he’s been around the game for a long time, played in big venues in critical situations, and was even traded for A-Rod. He’s seen things.

      Maybe competition isn’t everything anymore.

      Maybe he likes the direction of the team and likes mentoring/working with young guys. Maybe we’re seeing his best baseball because he’s happy (and healthier) than he’s been in a while. Maybe he’s thrilled at how the coaches are getting the best out of him.

      Maybe there’s some fire left too: maybe he’s daring some young kid to take his job. Gonna have to beat him on the field and at the plate.

      So maybe he’s a Cub at heart: you can’t blame him for thinking (hoping) he has a chance to be part of a competitive team in Chicago inside of two years. He gets to stay in town if he wants. Maybe he wants to find out what happens.

      I don’t have a problem with any of those possibilities. And if he was getting paid what other teams seem reluctant to part with ($3 mill a year/3 years), Cubs fans might be applauding him for sticking it out during the rebuilding period and working with the kids. We’d see his effort as more valuable than his paycheck.

      I hate his contract. But I have come to really like the guy.

  • funkster

    The whole “the weather is bad and I’ve never played on the West Coast” argument seems incredibly silly.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, SF is a pretty miserable place for a lot of the summer: it never warms up due to cool ocean currents coming down from Alaska.

    • TWC

      I can attest to this, as I look out the window to see leaden skies for the umpteenth week in a row.

      HowEVAH, late April through early June and September through October are pretty consistently wonderful around here. It also doesn’t rain for the entire season, and there are never any games called due to snow.

    • Doug Dascenzo

      Apparently, he’s been thinking he’s been playing for the Diamondbacks all this time.

    • Cheyenne

      I simply took it as him saying, the cold and rainy weather in San Fran will make his arthritic knees hurt more that they already do.

      • TWC

        “Rainy”? Not during baseball season. Damp and foggy? Sure.

        … but two hours after I noted the leaden skies (above), I look out the window again to see the fog breaking and another crystal clear, 60°-ish sunny day on tap. And I wonder, not for the first time, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

        • J. Edwards

          I hear ya. I have the same thought almost every single day. You should drive south: San Diego is pretty sweet, too.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            San Diego is probably the best city in the country (besides Chicago, natch).

            • TWC

              Um, like what? I’m not suggesting SF is, I’m just a bit shocked at the boldness of that statement.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                What’s not to like? Perfect – PERFECT – weather. Beautiful scenery. Fun stuff. Great food. I swoon just thinking about it…

                • TWC

                  Well, yeah, it’s a nice city, no doubt. However, to avoid alienating my friends here on this board, I’ll simply say that NorCal remains more my type of place. Plus, we’re closer to the prettier parts of California. That I can’t see as being in dispute.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Northern California, on the whole, is prettier than Southern California, absolutely.

                • J. Edwards

                  Everything you say is true.

                  • J. Edwards

                    ^ refers to Brett’s comments about San Diego. The weather is unreal, food here includes everything there is to love about food, tons of microbrews, endless outdoor activities (in perfect weather–was that mentioned?) and everywhere you look it’s beautiful. It’s pretty grand, I can’t lie. I’m very grateful.

                    TWC, I don’t know Northern California as well but what I’ve seen I love. Glad you do, too.

            • J. Edwards

              I am grateful to live in a city as fantastic as SD, but I’m a traveler (Iowa-boy) and like Chicago and SF a lot, too.

              All that to say, I think Soriano ranks the cities like this:
              1. Chicago
              2. See #1
              3. There is no 3.

              And if he’s not going to San Fran he sure isn’t playing for San Diego, either, where pitchers drink from a fountain of youth and hitters go to retire.

            • hansman1982

              YOU’RE WRONG, YOU GUN-TOTING, BRA BURNING, ANARCHISTY, COMMUNIST!!!!!!

              It’s Des Moines!

              • J. Edwards

                Ha ha ha, nice.

                FWIW, I grew up in Des Moines. Went to Theodore Roosevelt High School (class of ’96). I’ve seen a lot of retired hitters at Sec Taylor stadium…

          • TWC

            No doubt. You have the added benefit of an ocean that you could actually (almost) swim in.

            I like SD a bunch, really, but Northern California is more my style.

            • hansman1982

              hippy

            • J. Edwards

              I pretty much love California.

  • Deer

    2+ years in a ballpark that isn’t conducive to HRs, plus a lot more ground to cover in the OF. I don’t blame Sori on this one. As an older guy, I think he needs to be in the right environment to continue to play well. Something Demp should have understood too.

    • art

      like the AL?

    • Cyranojoe

      Good points. I’m thinking he’s looking to Andre Dawson for inspiration — Andre’s said many a time that his knees would have given out completely on another surface, like if he hadn’t been at Wrigley. No doubt given the state of his own knees/legs, Alfonso is looking for the right size/kind of field…

  • cubchymyst

    I blame the cubs unfair advantage. No one wants to leave the team because they want to be part of a history making event.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. That’s pretty funny. Nicely done.

      • MightyBear

        Well said again Brett. I agree with you 100%. I’m sure that will make you sleep better at nights knowing I agree with you. LOL

  • fortyonenorth

    A 10-5 guy with the rocks to say “no” or “probably not” up front, and without any of the wishy-washy Dempster games is refreshing. FWIW, the Cubs are going to need a few veterans in the clubhouse to mentor the younger players. Unless the Cubs get a compelling offer, I’d vote to keep Sori and DeJesus.

    • Cubs1967

      Alfonso Aramis Derek Dempster needs to fuck off. The Giants are a winning team. GO the fuck there and play…………team Theo is hell bent that the team must tank for 3-4 seasons (since he cannot figure out how to be even a WC contender like the A’s at half the budget) so Fonzie should go………and win………….it’s a no-brainer.

      sort of like the cubs should of signed Cespedes……….that was another no brainer.

      • Flashfire

        Classy post all around, but its worth nothing that Billy Beane was at or below .500 every year from 2007 to 2011, a rebuilding phase much like the Cubs are going through.

      • Carew

        Relax. Soriano will be gone, demp is gone, and I believe Aramis left on relatively good terms. There is a plan, and the the FO is stickin to it. These guys have done this before.

        And you do know the cubs would have signed him but the A’s came outta NOWHERE

        • Cubs1967

          jed had done where? san diego………ahahaa!

          • Carew

            Jed sure as hell made a great farm system in San Diego.

      • TWC

        So Soriano should go, even though his offense has been outstanding and his defense significantly improved, but we should have kept Sean Marshall, who would have … I dunno, maybe improved our record by one game early in the season?

        Oh, AND a we shoulda signed Cespedes dig? Man, you throw in some crap about ticket prices and Josh Hamilton and you’ll have hit upon EVERY pessimistic bitching point that we’ve heard all season.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          He also left out “Ryne Sandberg would have beat them all nightly until they started winning.”

          In truth, it was a bummer about the A’s high-balling the Cubs (and everyone else) by so much on Cespedes. However, he would not have improved the Cubs by that much: he missed much of the season with injuries (he’s got only 340 PAs).

          • TWC

            it was a bummer about the A’s high-balling the Cubs

            Well, that will certainly receive no argument from me. I only wish people would stop laying that entirely on the back of the Cubs’ FO.

            • Boogens

              Quite honestly, I’m glad that we didn’t sign Cespedes for the amount we offered. Soler is a much better longer-term option.

              • TWC

                You may be right. I think, however, that the A’s willingness to grant Cespedes free agency after only 4 seasons was more than a little nutso, and I’m glad the Cubs FO didn’t try to counter that. Still, it did the job for the A’s.

              • ssckelley

                I think the Cubs offered both and would have landed both had the A’s not come in at the final hour with an irresistible offer.

        • Mat B

          You forgot Colvin on your bitching points!

          • DocPeterWimsey

            The entire universe forgot about Colvin after June…..

            • Cubbie Blues

              Haha!

            • J. Edwards

              Well-played.

          • Drew7

            and DeJesus.

            Dont forget the Marshall trade, either.

            • TWC

              Yo, Drew, baby, try to keep up. Marshall was #1, kiddo.

              • Drew7

                Shit. My bad…

        • Cubs1967

          ummmmmmm……..who are you talking too? i’ve never broughtp josh hamilton OR tix prices……….dude………..really.

          • Drew7

            “Man, you throw in some crap about ticket prices and Josh Hamilton and you’ll have hit upon EVERY pessimistic bitching point that we’ve heard all season.”

            He’s saying that if you DID bring them up you will have bitched about every event possible.

  • bails17

    The Panda Video..classic!!

  • Frankum

    Isn’t it obvious? This team loses because these guys don’t like to win. That’s why they are rejecting trades. Losers love to lose.

    • Tim

      they lose becuase there isnt alot of talent on the team. and we dont have the cheap contract guys like the A’s do

    • TWC

      This team loses because these guys don’t like to win.

      Larf. What a bunch of fracking bullcrap. This team loses because they aren’t very good at baseball.

  • Mrcub1958

    Brett, well said. For me, it says alot about the mental makeup of the athlete. If you think about Soriano, Dumpster, D Lee, Aram, Crime Dog, etc., I don’t apply the term gamer.

  • ssckelley

    Wow, a few of you need to take off the cubbie sun glasses and put yourself in his shoes and see his vantage point. Where ever he goes he and his family will have to spend the next 2 1/2 years there, if I was in his shoes you’re damn right I would want input on where they send me. He will not make another damn dime either way and he needs to consider his family. I am sure Soriano wants to win and get a World Series title as he never got one as a Yankee but that does not mean he should accept a trade to just anywhere that is in contention since he has 2 years left on his contract. If he was in his final year of his contract, like Dempster, then I would feel differently.

    • terencem

      I completely respect his decision, I’m just surprised that he doesn’t want the chance to play for a ring. Even if the Giants miss this season, they have a lot of money coming off the books and will probably re-load for next year. They could have a better team next April than they do right now.

    • Cubs1967

      yep–the family is always right……….for 18M…..and still in the US…………play me in Montana……really

      • Pat

        He gets the 18 mil regardless.

  • DRock

    Love the picture of him making that web gem. It sums up this story for me…

  • Doug Dascenzo

    I’m thinking he wants to go back to the East Coast and by East Coast, I mean the Yankees and that’s about it.

  • BeyondFukudome

    What a gamer. I can’t believe contenders aren’t beating the door down trying to acquire a guy who’s so motivated to win.

  • jim

    MY question to you mr SORIANO.
    DON’T you want to play for a team that can win NOW?
    Or, do you want to play for a (sorry) LOSER?
    Besides, YOU are NOT getting any younger.
    ALSO, one of the goals for a player is to
    play on a CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!
    p.s. YOU ARE A VERY NICE GUY & RESPECTED,
    THAT BEING SAID. YOU WERE WAY, WAY,
    OVER PAID & IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON!

    GOD BLESS!

    • TWC

      I think the meter is off on your haiku.

  • J R

    Hey All, now that it seems we won’t get a good haul for Garza I have been wracking my brain on how the Front Office continue to get pitching prospects. The Cubs obviously have a ton of payroll coming off after this season. What if they sign several players like A. Sanchez, B. Upton, and Napoli to excessive 1 yr deals. Like way more than the worth, say 1 yr. 15 mill for each. They then flip them for prospects midseason why paying their ridiculous salary for the other team. The players would sign because no one else would offer that type of money even though it’s a short deal. IDK, just thought they could do what the did with Maholm, but on steroids..

    • cubchymyst

      I don’t think most players would take that type of deal for 1 year. I’d take the long term security that adds up to more money every time. A down year or an injury could prevent them from making as much with the 1 year deal versus taking the long term deal.

      Also if the cubs added all of those players (even if for one year) I’d hope we at least be in a wild card hunt, which might keep the cubs from trading them.

      • J R

        I know most players want a longterm deal, but if the Cubs were offering ridiculous more money than anyone else maybe? Why not get extremely overpaid for one year and become a free agent the following?

  • Cheyenne

    So, even if the Cubs line up a deal that they feel improves the team and the organization for the long term, and puts Soriano in a great position to be in the thick of a playoff race not only this season, but in the near future, it could all be totally fruitless.

    This all sounds very similar. Just ask Dempster.

  • Daniel Guerra

    Meh, we are going to be stuck with Soriano. I guess some of you will be happy. Me? I’m not. I look at it this way. Soriano is below average in everything but home runs and RBIs. He’s going to get RBIs hitting in the middle of the lineup with his power. It’s not because of his high batting average of .263. Oh, his OBP at .320 is not so great. He already has 108 strikeouts. Ok, he hasn’t committed errors in left but his range is probably the worse in the league (his knees don’t help him in that department). He looks like he’s jogging when he goes for the ball in left field. Anyways, that’s my two cents. Let the flammin’ begin!

    • TWC

      He has an OPS+ of 116, which means he’s 16% better than the league average OPS when his home ballpark is factored in. His OPS+ of 116 is better than it’s been since 2008 (when he was at 120) and 2007 (when he was at 122).

      So, no he’s not average. He’s above average. That fact ≠ a flame.

      • Daniel Guerra

        Yea well we know he has power, that’s all he has and that’s exactly what I mentioned.

        • Drew7

          Well – since OPS is a very good indicator of scoring runs, and out-slugging and out-walking your opponents are two of the 3 top indicators of winning, I think you may be under-valuing his one good trait, bud.

          • Daniel Guerra

            Buddy, he’s 46th in the league in OPS. Lets not over-value his trait. It’s good, but not amazing.

            • hansman1982

              I think you are arguing something that noone else is arguing. TWC said he is above-average not great, not world beater, just 16% better than the average hitter in terms of OPS.

            • Drew7

              So its a “good” trait? Kinda like the EXACT word I used to describe it?

  • anotherjp

    If I was Sori I wouldn’t go to San Fran either. Not only is the weather crappy, but he’d be paying California taxes on half his games, so there’s a good chance he’d actually lose money with a trade. It makes more sense from a financial standpoint to go to a state with lower tax rates, like Florida or Texas, that has warmer weather.

    At Soriano’s current level of production the Cubs would be foolish to eat a bunch of salary with little return anyway. Along with DeJesus he’s the only real veteran that can set an example for the rookies, and there won’t be an adequate replacement from the farm system in left field for another two years. Anybody who’d be willing to stay in Chicago after what he’s been through deserves a little slack.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      All this talk about veterans…how about coaches?

  • Spencer

    I mean, this isn’t like Dempster where he only had to play in a new place for a couple months and then had free reign after that. If Soriano agrees to a trade to a town he doesn’t like, then he’s there for two more years. Not to mention he would lose his 10/5 rights and be open to the potential of being traded again. And, the West Coast IS farther away from his family in the DR, and that probably is a legit concern for him. It’s not that he’s attaching himself to a sinking ship, he just feels like Chicago is a better place for him right now for personal reasons. And, I’m sure part of him wants to stick around and see how this youth movement plays out and see if the Cubs can do something special in the next two years. They can’t, but maybe he just wants to stick around to make sure. I’m firmly on Sori’s side with this one.

    • Spencer

      Oh, and, if he continues to produce and play good defense like he is this year, then why trade him anyway?

    • Hee Seop Chode

      just curious…i know he’d loose his 5/10 rights, but wouldn’t he still have the NTC in the contract?

  • JMick

    Although my initial reaction to Sori possibly blocking a trade that could benefit the organization, I think it’s important to evaluate this from another perspective. We all know that Sori will add value to the Cubs in 2013 if he returns, and there’s something to be said about a guy who truly seems to want to play in Chicago. He has shown loyalty to our organization despite not always being well-recieved by fans. Even if he hasn’t fully earned his huge contract (not necessarily his fault btw) he has earned his no-trade rights. I say we respect the man for his loyalty and his past contributions and if a deal gets done, fantastic. But if not, he should be welcomed back to Chicago next year with open arms and not scorned like some (DEMP!!!) At least Sori is being honest and forthright in his decisions.

  • PKJ

    How is San Francisco weather ANY different than Chicago in September? I can understand the proximity to family and access to the D.R., but don’t blame the weather, Sori. If the weather were an issue for you, you’d still be playing in Texas.

  • Randy

    I have to laugh at most comments. When one of you are making 18 million a year and have the opportuninty to go eslewhere with your life, then maybe you should comment harshly.. I agree it would be great to get a prospect and sned him on his way but some of the comments really make me sad to be a Cubs fan…

  • BFM

    Remember what Mark Twain wrote:

    “The coldest winter I ever spent, was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”

  • Fastball

    Soriano has earned his right to play where ever the heck he wants to play and that is in Chicago. I don’t think anyone has the right to jump on his back when he comes right out and says I’m not going to San Fran. What is wrong with everyone. The guy says No. This is a free country and he can do what ever he wants. If somebody came to me and said your moving to South Dakota I would look at them and laugh. A lot of people don’t like to move period. As far as his wanting to play for a winner. Well maybe at this point in his life he isn’t as concerned with playing for a winner as he is about wanting to help out these younger players. Different things motivate people or become more important. He fashions himself as a mentor and that may be what he wants to do his last few years of playing baseball. Nobody can fault him for that. It’s kind of admirable that he doesn’t put himself ahead of others.

  • mudge

    Playing for a winner may not be as appealing as playing for your familiar team. I admire Soriano and wouldn’t mind watching him play left here until they can replace his production. No way they should sell low on him.

  • Fastball

    Soriano isnt a jerk like a Milton Bradley. He wants to be a life long Cub. He may very well want to be a part of the Cubs family for the rest of his life. Like Dawson, Williams, Banks etc. He may not be as good as all of them but he may very well see himself as someone who retires as a Chicago Cub and takes pride in that. He isn’t demanding and trade because we suck moose nuggets. We should be thankful we have a player who loves it in Chicago. A lot of guys would never even consider coming to Chicago even if the money was great. More to life than a WS ring from the Giants. And if they don’t win a WS he is stuck out there where he doesn’t want to be. I back his thoughts and any reason has for saying no.

    • TWC

      And if they don’t win a WS he is stuck out there where he doesn’t want to be.

      Well, if Soriano does indeed approve a trade to SF, he’s welcome to come hang out at my place. He’ll feel right at home. Maybe he can help me build my deck…

  • Fastball

    LOL…. I like that one TWC

  • stefanw11

    he is waiting til the off season and hopes to be dealt to an East Coast team. Chicago is a great place to play and 6 more weeks is not a problem to him

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Whats Soriano’s problem with the west coast besides, LA?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I think this will answer your question.

      TWC
      August 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply
      And if they don’t win a WS he is stuck out there where he doesn’t want to be.

      Well, if Soriano does indeed approve a trade to SF, he’s welcome to come hang out at my place. He’ll feel right at home. Maybe he can help me build my deck…

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    What about his Hall of Fame bust – he has to go in wearing a big C on his cap – right ?

  • die hard

    Your anger is misplaced…Hes got a good Gig…dont blame him…blame management for not doing whatever it takes to move him or plan for him to be in LF til contact runs out…if reverse were true , they wouldnt hesitate to dump him…Curt Flood, we hardly knew ya but your sacrifice is still a benefit to all

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