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.


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