Lukewarm Stove: Soriano Options Opening, Michael Bourn Options Dwindling

stoveThe latest from the rumor mill …

  • Mike Petriello, a FanGraphs writer writing at ESPN, put together a list of teams with surplus assets to trade, and then some corresponding teams with needs. Naturally, the Cubs came in for a mention in the “surplus outfielders” category, which isn’t strictly true (they’ve got a mix of four outfielders, plus a marginal fifth – hardly a surplus), but I know what he’s saying. The guy at issue is Alfonso Soriano – he’s got trade value (assuming the Cubs eat some of his salary), and the Cubs don’t expect to be competitive in 2013, so he’s tradable. Petriello lists the Rangers, Rays, Yankees, and Orioles as teams with a need. Not much we didn’t already know, but it keeps the conversation in the public ear.
  • Speaking of Soriano and the Yankees, this ARod business could have you wondering whether they’ll feel an increased urge to add a bat. In some ways, the Yankees are a great fit: they could use a part-time DH type who offers right-handed power in the outfield, and they have some budgetary concerns that could make a $5 million Soriano pretty attractive (they’re trying to get under the luxury tax cap by next year). They’re also already an aging roster, so what’s another 37-year-old? On the other hand, the Yankees have been connected to Travis Hafner in recent days (indeed a deal might already be in place), so maybe they’re going to go mega cheap for a DH (not that Hafner really approximates what Soriano would bring to the table).
  • And speaking of Soriano and the Rangers, as I discussed yesterday, George Ofman says with Josh Hamilton (and Mike Napoli, I’d add) gone, and with Nelson Cruz potentially about to be suspended, the Rangers may end up turning to Soriano. “Watch this closely.”
  • On the Michael Bourn front, Geoff Baker out in Seattle suggests that the Mariners wouldn’t be as reluctant to part with the number 12 pick in order to sign Bourn as we might all think.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith chatted over at MLBTR yesterday, and among his thoughts … (1) the Mets, Mariners, and Rangers might be Michael Bourn’s only realistic options at this point; (2) it remains “unexpected” that Bourn would sit out until the Draft in June so that he is no longer attached to compensation; (3) some teams may be hoarding prospects right now in the hopes that they’ll have a chance at taking a run at Giancarlo Stanton or David Price.
  • I am still of the mind that the Cubs only seriously consider Bourn if he can find no other takers for three or four years and $35 to $45 million (something in that general range), and I expect him to find deals out there at least that good. But, I’ll confess: if the Cubs could actually net a decent piece for Soriano, and then sign Bourn, are they really any worse-off, overall, in 2013/2014? And how about the longer term? Seems like that would be a net win, depending on the Bourn deal and the Soriano return.

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

119 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Soriano Options Opening, Michael Bourn Options Dwindling”

  1. Adam

    3 years, 35 million? Sign me up.

  2. fromthemitten

    I think we should trade Soriano what do you guys think?

    http://www.fuckyeahpolicydebate.com

  3. ActionJackson

    First off, if Bourn really wants that 5 year $75mm deal then it might be in his best interest to sit out until June. That would open up several other possible teams interested plus teams would be able to evaluate their current teams and see what they need to add and especially if a team loses an outfielder to to injury. Those 2-3 teams that are “possibly” interested could turn into 10 teams.

    If teams are reluctant to give up their 1st or 2nd round pick or teams that would surrender their pick are only offering 3/30mm-39mm then why not just sit out for 2 and half months and wait until the market goes from 2-3 teams to 10 team and the possibility to get that 4/60mm or 5/75mm contract. Makes sense to me if I was a player.

    1. Spencer

      The risk with that is that the market may not ever go back up, then youre out like three months of pay.

      1. ActionJackson

        The only reason the market is not there right now is because teams don’t want to give up draft picks. Maybe for a top notch player teams would but for Bourn teams are not willing to do so. Same for Lohse.

        1. Featherstone

          The other very plausible reason is that maybe teams really dont want to go 5/75 on a 30 year old speed/defense focused played. They typically dont age well.

      2. justinjabs

        Has anyone ever sat out like that? I know older guys like Pedro has sat out part of the season, but never a prime free agent (one tied to compensation). Seems like it would be an odd occurrence.

        1. Grant

          This is the first offseason under the current CBA, circumstances are a bit different this year than they’ve ever been before.

          1. justinjabs

            True. Compensation’s been around before… but you’re right, I forgot about the money pools. Still I don’t see Bourn waiting.

        2. Grant

          If the Cubs pick up Bourn, I’d like to see them take Lohse too, since it would only cost a 3rd round pick at that point.

          1. CubFan Paul

            I’d like to see them take Lohse too *on a one year deal with all intentions of trading him by the deadline, to replace the loss of the 2nd & 3rd round picks.

            1. Grant

              I wouldn’t be opposed to flipping him, I’m just seeing an opportunity to game the system since we could potentially grab him with a much lower opportunity cost than anyone else.

  4. Bigg J

    I believe we would be somewhat worse with homeruns and RBI, but he would net average and SB for the players behind Bourn if he came aboard. Also, Bourn is younger and more athletic. Soriano could get hurt again. If we traded Sori then I would grab Bourn at 3 or 4 yrs around 50-60.

    1. CityCub

      3 or 4 @ 50-60? Really? No way

  5. DowntownLBrown

    my dream scenario would be a Soriano (plus package) to the Rangers for Olt, and turn around and sign Bourn.

    I think that would definitely spark some excitement.

  6. Voice of reason

    My dream scenario involves Pamela Anderson and a bunch of liquor.

    1. hogie

      Ten, fifteen years ago.

      1. wilbur

        For us really old guys it might be no women, just some cigars and the booze!

    2. EQ76

      VOR – your dream gets you a nice heaping pile of Hep-C… good luck with that.

    3. Carew

      how about just Scarlett Johansson? pull the trigger…

  7. Ben

    The Mets and M’s would have to give up the best 2 first round picks possible to sign Bourne. Possible, yes, but doesn’t seem very likely to me. The Rangers will probably sign him if the whole Cruz thing turns out to be true, and he gets a 50 game suspension.

    I’d be open to Bourne still, even with all our OF moves. But, 12-13 per over 3 years should be the top offer. There really isn’t a reason to offer more than that at this point. If someone else wants him more than that, and wants to surrender a 1st round pick, then they should get him.

  8. frank

    I’m thinking, for me, Jessica Alba . . .

    1. frank

      I was replying to Voice of Reason, above, in case anyone was wondering.

    2. TonyP

      Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz please

      1. Seth

        Now you are talking my language. Those two are my Kryptonite.

        1. TonyP

          I would hack off both pinkies for a nibble. :-D

          1. Seth

            Did we just become best friends?

            1. TonyP

              LMAO

            2. BleedCubbieBlue

              Love the step brothers reference!

    3. justinjabs

      Decent choice. My guilty pleasures are Emma Watson, Katy Perry…

    4. DarthHater

      Brett, the natives are getting restless. I think it’s time for a pre-season She-View!

      1. mudge

        That’ll grow your blog for sure.

  9. Craig

    The Seattle writer Brett gave a link to said it best: if the Mariners were willing to trade a huge prospect package including two former high first round picks for Upton, why not give up 12th pick for Bourne.

    1. Voice of reason

      @jono…. Because bourn is no where near as good as upton!

  10. fromthemitten

    as a more serious note: I think the Yankees would be an ideal trade partner for the Cubs. The Cubs clearest weak spot in their system is catcher–there is not a single catcher listed on any of their top prospects lists–and the Yankees have some pretty good ones in Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez. Romine will probably be their starting catcher next year so Sanchez, a great low level prospect, seems like the best bet

    1. mudge

      Now you’re talkin’.

      1. Kygavin

        Not Soriano related but is catcher realted…what about going after Ryan Lavarnway from the Red Sox? Not sure if there is anything that would interest the Sox and Lavarnway has some defensive questions but the bat is for real and he can rake. Also he is most likely available with the Sox signing David Ross and Napoli (wont likely catch much tho) and still having Salty. Seems like the chance is there for Theo to get another one of “his guys”

  11. Patrick W.

    Mariners are having trouble getting people to come here. If they can get Bourne they would gladly give up the pick.

    1. Seth

      *Bourn. Sorry, I’m just tired of seeing his name spelled wrong numerous times on here.

      1. EQ76

        It’s like no body on here really knows Bourn’s identity.

        1. Seth

          Oh man this made me chuckle. Thank you.

      2. Patrick W.

        Ok Ok…. I get it. Michael Born.

        1. DarthHater

          No, no, no – Bohrn. Like the Danish physicist Niels Bohrn.

          1. EQ76

            Bowrne

            1. Patrick W.

              The question remains, should the Cubs sign Micheal Brown?

              1. Xavier

                Lmao

  12. chuyz

    Yankees knew about a rod..thats why they moved in on yulokis

  13. Jono

    Getting bourne probably depends on where the cubs would get the better talent, their 2nd round pick or the return from trading bourne away. And that probably depends on their outlook for Bourne’s performance

    1. Jono

      Oops, *bourn

  14. ChicagoCubsTalk

    If the Cubs picked up Bourn it would end up like another Soriano again. We have to many potential starts in the minors that can fill the gaps in the outfield.

    1. brickhouse

      not for a couple years

      1. justinjabs

        If ever.

    2. Cubbie Blues

      Leave off again
      Another “Soriano scenario” not an actual “Soriano”
      Learn the difference between to, too and two
      Starters not start

      Did I miss anything?

      Oh yeah, Brett saying, “You just gotta stop, dude. If you truly, genuinely want to be a part of the community, it’s time to take the foot off the gas. Lay back a bit. Observe. Don’t post. Just observe. Then, after some time has passed – and I mean at least a week – you may have a better sense of how to conduct yourself.

      Because right now, you’re driving people crazy.”

      1. CubFan Paul

        i thought the goat was the hall monitor…

        1. Cubbie Blues

          All i know is, he doesn’t have sole ownership.

        2. DarthHater

          The goat ate the hall monitor badge (some kind of tasty glue on it, or something) and now all hell is breaking loose…

    3. JP4 or 5 by now???

      Hey kid if you’re looking for good blog followers you should get that chick that frequented this site last year… Something…. Melange right Brett? that contributer always was insightful to say the least

      1. cjdubbya

        I wonder what Shelby Menge thinks about how the 2013 Chicago Cubs will do in 2013 compared to the 2012 Chicago Cubs?

  15. bham10

    Is it a fact that the Cubs will eat all but 5 mil per season for Soriano or assuming?

    1. justinjabs

      I’m sure it’s something that’s been murmured to multiple people during negotiations – but not something that the Cubs would confirm as “fact.” Not a total random assumption either.

  16. Noah

    I’m not sure that hoarding picks in this year’s draft will do anyone any good in getting Price or Stanton, considering I expect that they will hit the trade market next offseason.

    1. Adam

      Yes but at the same time, if you give up a prospect to sign Borne, you’re not replacing one that you would trade for Price.

      1. Voice of reason

        Why Why would you want to give up prospects for price??

        Let’s develop the next price in our system instead of trading him away. And, once we got price we would have to sign him to a big, big contract to keep him around.

        You have to be smart and know how to use minor league players. They can be used to get established veterans, but let’s take some time and develop a bunch of prospects before we trade away all that we have for price!!

        1. mak

          You don’t necessarily “develop” a Price. He was a 1st rounder (without looking it up, a top 5 overall?), so you really only have a shot at him once a decade or so. Price is in his prime and the Cubs will be well positioned to nab him while their “core” starts to come into their prime.

          1. Kevin B

            David Price was actually the #1 overall pick in his draft year.

        2. BWA

          I may be very very wrong on this, but if Vogelbach has a great yearl and one of our younger pitchers shows up I don’t think we would have to give up any of our top 3. A package centered around Vogelbach and Paniagua/johnson/maples and several other good prospects and or good relief pitchers might get it done. I would do that any day for a 27 year old Price. Again, I’m not sure it could happen, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them as strong suiters in Garza, Johnson, Lincecum instead.

          1. cheryl

            If V does have a great year and its clear that he can’t play another position (I thought I heard they might see if he could handle some outfield position. Now I might be entirely wrong on this.) and if the FO prefers who they have at first base than by all means they should try and trade V. But I hope they wait on him. By the end of this season we’ll know more about his abilities.If he’s as good as some think than they may regret a trade, but I can’t see blocking him. It wouldn’t be fatr to him or Rizzo either.

  17. Die hard

    Sori wants a warm weather team

    1. Xavier

      Soriano wants to be in a warmish place but family comes first and Texas and Florida are the only places I really see him going because the weather and proximity to his home.

  18. Grant

    I have to wonder if the unintended consequences of the new CBA towards high-end FA’s like Lohse and Bourn results in a modification to the CBA before it expires. The MLBPA can’t be too happy about guys of their caliber having difficulty finding teams willing to sign them simply because of the draft pick compensation issue.

    1. King Jeff

      I hope it leads to a re-thinking of the system, but I’m not hoping for any positive moves until Selig steps down.

      1. jh

        Does anyone think that we might start to see sign and trades like other sports? For example, a team with a lower pick (or protected pick) signs Bourne and trades him to the Mets for a package of predetermined value? There could be any number of rules against this that I am not familiar with but seemed plausible.

        1. BWA

          It would only really work if the minor league player that was traded had a value somewhere between the two picks, which is probably difficult to do. Also, the team recieving the FA in the end still has to give up a player of 1st to 2nd round talent so not a whole lot changes.

        2. Grant

          I thought there was something in the CBA or elsewhere prohibiting sign-and-trades like that.

    2. BluBlud

      A quick fix would be that the team that loses the pick does lose it’s slot money, but the team that gains the pick, gains a set amount of slot money. A comp picks would gain the same amount of slot money, no matter the order that it falls in. Also, they should do away with compensation for all players who are past that expiring time on thier rookie deals. Michael Bourn would unfortunately still have comp attached to him, but Lohse wouldn’t. What this would do is eliminate the comp picks, this lower the added money value from the added comp picks as I laid it out.

    3. Kevin B

      Ok but then why would the owners want to modify it? Or what would the MLBPA offer in return – the owners are not just going to to modify it because the players association says pretty please.

      The way it stands right now you will have players rethinking the turning down the qualifying one year offer and that will let MLB teams keep their players and it keeps the price tag from spiraling, so why would the owners want to give that back …. and for nothing ….?

  19. DarthHater

    The Onion’s horoscope for Pisces this week is spot on: “Remember, it’s not how hard you beat the goat, but whether the goat you’re beating is on fire.” ;-)

    1. MichiganGoat

      OMG – I’m in trouble

  20. Craig

    Soriano (plus 30 million), Marmol (plus 5 million) and the 3b prospect they sent us last year (Villenueva) to Texas for Olt and a mid level prospect. We then have a roster spot for Hairston and Texas has another 3b prospect to be ready when Beltre ages in a few years. Texas also gets Soriano for 2 yrs/ 6 million and one year of Marmol for $5 million filling two needs for them.

    1. AB

      what if Texas doens’t have the roster spots??

      1. Craig

        They would just need one spot. The mid level prospect they send the Cubs could be on their 40 man roster.

    2. Die hard

      Marmol to Texas makes sense cause Ryan will help turn him around and realize potential

  21. cubfanincardinalland

    The one guy I could see sitting out until June is Lohse. Last time he was a free agent he didn’t sign until late in spring training. I think he really wants at least a three year deal this late in his career. May have to get rid of the first round pick loss to do it.

    1. fromthemitten

      that’s not possible unless a team with a top ten pick signs him…. this is awful side effect of the new CBA and the players union needs to raise a stink about it

      1. BWA

        What were gonna see is a lot more players like Bourne and Lohse accepting their qualifying offers.

        1. fromthemitten

          the latter yes, but Bourn was just unlucky because his biggest suitors were able to resolve their CF situation with trades

  22. dabynsky

    cubsfanincardinalland is correct that if Lohse signs after the amateur draft then the draft compensation is no longer tied to him. The question is Lohse really going to sit out that long.

  23. daveyrosello

    The draft pick for Bourn shouldn’t be such a big deal, the 2013 draft class will be one of the weakest in years.

    1. BWA

      They only really say that about the top of a draft class, but I’m sure after the first 10 picks or so every class is fairly similar.

  24. Voice of reason

    So, my point that the rangers aren’t going to give away Olt is backed up with at least one fact.

    People come on here and say the rangers will give us olt for garza or soriano or marmot or some crazy combination. I say it won’t happen!!!

    My pointis backed up when you click on the link below.

    The rangers could certainly use an outfield stick and wanted Carlos Gonzalez from the Rockies. Well, the conversation ended when the Rockies asked for olt. They said no way!

    Now, if we called and offered garza coming off arm trouble or an old soriano or a bad marmol they would laugh and hang up.

    Teams just don’t give prospects away these days. Not even for Gonzalez let alone garza soriano or marmot.

    The link: http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2013/1/30/3932986/mlb-trade-rumors-rangers-rockies-carlos-gonzalez/in/3537041

    1. BWA

      Did you even read the article? The rockies wanted Profar and Olt and the Rangers don’t want to give up Profar. Done deal.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Reading is not necessary if you have reason

        1. DarthHater

          Void of reading

        2. BWA

          noted. I’m done with this guy

    2. Van

      Perhaps they simply don’t want to trade for Cargo? He gives up about .300 points of OPS when he’s not hitting at Coors.

    3. Kevin B

      You serious .. you do not think the Rangers would trade Olt for Gonazalez??? In fact its the Rockies who would need MUCH MORE then Olt for Carlos Gonzalez!

  25. william

    i still say soriano,marmol,vogalbach,and maybe vitters who has played 3b,1b,and outfield for olt,martin perez,bourbon,and a lower level pitching prospect or to i could also see marmol to baltimore since they seem to be wanting some bullpen help

    1. Voice of reason

      Did you read the story?

      Dude, they wouldn’t talk about olt for Gonzalez.

      They won’t want the bag of bums you’re offering!

      Gonzalez…. A stud outfielder!! The conversation ended when they talked olt.

      1. Gcheezpuff

        The article you referenced is very speculative and refers to both Profar and Olt. It doesn’t specify anywhere what the proposed trade was and assumes the Rangers didn’t want to include either prospect. That being said, I doubt the Cubs have any shot of a straight up Soriano for Olt swap, but if Garza looks good in ST and Cruz gets suspended, I would not be suprized if Garza and Soriano are traded for a package of prospects headlined by Olt. On a side note, I checked some rangers blogs and didn’t find much interest in Soriano from the fan base. In addition, the majority of the posters think Cruz (who put up similar offensive numbers as Soriano) sucked last year and can’t wait for a replacement in right field. The trade works in the sense that Soriano is available and the Rangers have a need for an outfielder, but all the hot stove smoke seems to be generated by the Chicago media and not so much from Texas.

      2. DarthHater

        That article absolutely does not say that they would not talk about Olt for Gonzalez. It very clearly says they would not talk about Profar AND Olt for Gonzalez. To insist that the article says what it quite plainly does not say is … how should I put it … void of reason.

  26. afinch

    Yankees signed Hafner. Not sure if that means the Soriano to NYY ship has sailed. If not, I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: if you trade him to NYY, they have to ship back either Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova. Both are young and could be a nice part of the rotation. Only issue I have with Hughes is he’ll be a free agent at end of the upcoming season, otherwise I’d take a Soriano for one of those 2 any day.

    Oh, and Jessica Alba. For sure.

    1. Kygavin

      Why would the Yankees deal either of those SP when their rotation was/is their biggest weakness? Id be happy with Soriano for basically any 4-8 range prospect

  27. Timmy

    Agreed about Bourn. He’s definitely not worth exorbitant money mainly due to his age, but for a good contract at a fair price that still keeps him happy he’d be a great addition to the team. If the opportunity arises the Cubs would be remiss to pass on that one…unless ownership forbids it so they can buy another yacht.

    1. CubFan Paul

      “unless ownership forbids it so they can buy another yacht”

      FACT: the profits the Ricketts’ make from the Cubs pale in comparison to the interest they live off of and many billions they’re worth.

      Your arguement is tired and falsely premised.

      1. Pat

        If the kids had the kind of money you’re talking, they would not have had to convince their father to buy the team for them. More than likely they are making ore as members of the board than they are getting from anywhere else.

        1. CubFan Paul

          Wrong Pat. The Ricketts aren’t spoiled twenty year olds that went broke buying a car.

          The Ricketts children were and still are Billionaires without their dad.

          They were in business(es) long before they bought the team.

          3 years and people are still ignorant to important facts about ownership. Damn “birthers”.

          1. Kevin B

            Paul thanks for setting these clowns straight so I did not have to.

  28. mditka

    Hey guys – how long do we have till we find out if we can keep Lendy Castillo? sorry i know its off subject

    1. Tim

      The cubs have until February 5th to waive, release, or trade him

  29. @cubsfantroy

    I have a question that maybe someone can answer.

    I see a lot of Soriano to the Rangers for Olt or, just Soriano to the Rangers, period.

    What happened to him not wanting to go west (sans the Dodgers)? Wouldn’t the Rangers fall into that category, or because he played there before he might go back if the Cubs were to strike some kind of deal?

    Please excuse my ignorance, I don’t keep up on the stuff 24/7.

    1. CubFan Paul

      Sori wants to be close to the Dominican and be in the eastern time zone (plus play in the OF on a contender), not necessarily just be on the east coast. I’m not sure about Texas’ time zone but the flights would be shorter from Chicago (I think/i’m guessing).

      1. hansman1982

        NEarly all of Texas is Central. El Paso is in the mountain zone but that is half-way across the continent from Dallas.

  30. Bigg J

    I am just throwing this out there, but we have no backup for Rizzo when he needs a day off, so why didn’t we try and claim Lars Anderson since we technically haven’t signed Hairston? Now if we do sign Hairston will he be Rizzo’s backup?

    1. Bigg J

      I seen that, but the Cubs would have had a chance to claim him before the Sox so that is why I was asking. Would it be wise to grab a backup or is Hairston expected to do that?

      1. Kevin B

        Bigg I see your point, I can only guess that to claim him they would have to release another player from the 40 man roster and still need to release one to add Hairston.

        Also Theo/Jed/McLeod trio had Lars in the Bosox system, perhaps they are not so high on him, after all he was in AAA last year and pretty much stunk.

    2. Dustin S

      I could be wrong, but I thought I read Sveum mention that he might plug Schierholz in at 1st once in a while when Rizzo needs a day off too. It may be fairly moot, barring injury Rizzo will probably be like Castro last year and not get many days off. This lineup will need both their bats as many days as they can be in there.

      1. Bigg J

        That is what I thought too, but you never know about these things and can’t guarentee someone is healthy all year long. Russ Canzler is DFA’d (again) so wouldn’t mind snagging him, but every time he is put on waivers he doesn’t make it out of the AL so wouldn’t be suprised if the Cubs don’t even get a shot.