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alfonso soriano hittingAlfonso Soriano says he doesn’t want to be traded, but if the Cubs get off to a poor start and there’s an opportunity to be moved to a team where he’d feel comfortable, he’d be open to it.

“At my age, I don’t want to be part of a losing team,” he said, per the Tribune. “I hope we start good and everybody stays healthy and sends a message because I believe in this team with the people that we’ve got.

“My point is I signed here to win the World Series. I don’t want to go somewhere else and win. But if we have a bad start I have to think about moving somewhere else because I think there’s no more than two years left in my career.”

If it comes down a trade, Soriano says he and his agent have had conversations with the Cubs’ front office, which Jed Hoyer confirmed, about a list of “six or seven” teams in the “East or Central” to which he’d be willing to accept a trade. It sounds like the two sides have spoken at length about the possibility of a future trade, and are on the same page about what can and cannot be accomplished. That’s good news.

So, who wants to speculate about those “six or seven” teams on which we should be keeping our eyes in the early going this year? We might be able to make some pretty good guesses based on things Soriano has said before.

The criteria about which we’ve previously been told:

(1.) Probably nothing out west. Although Soriano has been a little vague on this (does he mean East Coast as in, the actual Coast, only? Also, he would have accepted a deal to the Dodgers, so how hard is his line?), but we can surmise that his preference is the eastern half of the States, where the trip to his home in the DR is much shorter. He now also says “Central,” which could mean a Central Division, or the center of the country – either way, there has to be at least one team in the middle of the country (Texas? St. Louis? Cincinnati? Kansas City?)

(2.) A contender. Soriano wants to go to a team with a chance to win this and next year. He’s running out of years, so this is understandable.

(3.) A team that won’t just bury him as a DH. Although Soriano would probably be open to *some* designated hitter duty, he still wants to play in the field some. And last year, he showed that he could still play pretty well in left field.

So, what six or seven teams generally check those boxes? Well, a number of teams do – the Braves, the Nationals, the Phillies, and more immediately come to mind. The problem, however, is that not every team that fits Soriano’s criteria is actually going to have any interest in dealing for him, at least not short of an injury or two.

What about teams that look like they could use him, or who have previously had interest? The Yankees fit Soriano’s criteria, and they could use Soriano in the outfield some and DH some (they need a right-handed power bat). If Soriano is willing to stay in Chicago, then you’ve got to figure the White Sox fit. The Indians might fit for Soriano, but they’re running out of spots. Ditto the Tigers. The Red Sox might fit, but that’s a tricky outfield. The Orioles probably fit, but they might look to DH him more than he’d like. The Rays probably fit, but there’s the same potential issue there.

The Mets definitely have a need, but are they competitive enough? Are the Pirates competitive enough for Soriano? Are the Royals? Are the Rangers close enough to the DR?

I would love to know the teams on Soriano’s list, and see how much overlap there is between teams with potential need, and teams to which he’d accept a deal. If his list is mostly of the Atlanta/Washington ilk, the Cubs probably are never going to find a fit unless they luck into some unexpected openings. Given that he’s said “six or seven” teams, I do wonder if it’s still not a hard and fast list, though. We don’t want to get into another Ryan Dempster situation where the Cubs are negotiating with a team to which Soriano wouldn’t really accept a deal.

Here’s a guess on the list, based on Soriano’s criteria, and a presumption that, because he and the Cubs have had talks about this issue, the current list excludes teams that obviously won’t be trading for Soriano absent a horrible rash of injuries (i.e., Nationals, Braves, etc.), as well as teams that obviously won’t be trading for Soriano because they won’t want him (Miami, Houston, etc.):

Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees
New York Mets
Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles
Maybe Tampa Bay Rays or Philadelphia Phillies

I think that’s a pretty fair guess on the list, but there are caveats aplenty: I’m just deducing. There are other teams that fit his criteria, and the teams who might have interest in him come, say, July, could be very different from the teams that would have interest in him today.

UPDATE: I hadn’t seen the Sun-Times’ report on Soriano yet, but it looks like my guesses were pretty solid (again, remembering that I excluded teams who likely have no need for Soriano, like the Dodgers). Sources tell the Sun-Times that the list includes the White Sox, the Yankees, the Mets, the Phillies, and the Dodgers.

  • cubzfan

    Pretty good list.

    More generally, I don’t think he’d approve a trade to a team like Cleveland or even the Orioles right now, because they’re not expected to win their divisions, and they might put him at DH. But in June or July, if a team like that is in the hunt, and the Cubs are below .500, I could see him approving a trade. Personally, I think that’s much more likely than him ending up in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, or Texas–teams that are expected to compete and that have would not seem to have an obvious spot for him.

  • ETS

    “I hope we start good and everybody stays healthy and sends a message because I believe in this team with the people that we’ve got”
    Even in his unproductive years, it is hard for me to not like sori.

  • CubFanBob

    After the commercial break MLB Network is about to do a Sori trade rumor discussion

  • aCubsFan

    I can’t see Soriano being a fit at all for the White Sox, and there really isn’t much on their 40-man roster anyone wants other than De Aza.

  • brickhouse

    It is reported the teams are White Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, Mets & Yankees

    • aCubsFan

      Beyond the fact the White Sox don’t have anything worth trading for, they aren’t in any position to win anything in the next two years.

  • Bob Johnson

    After being away from Chicago for many years, watching Soriano on a daily basis was a big 2012 highlight for me!

  • Fastball

    His best suitor is the Yankee’s. But I don’t see it happening because they are in a self imposed payroll restriction. Not gonna spend anymore it wouldn’t be prudent. I don’t belive the Yankee’s are going to be very good this year. So he probably won’t want to go there by deadline. WhiteSux nope… He doesn’t even have them on his list. Sori is a Cub and crossing over isn’t in his DNA. Met’s definitely not. They suck worse than we do. I see him in Washington actually. They can put him in LF and he will do just fine there in the second half. Harper will play CF.

    • Jamie

      What about Denard Span playing CF for the Nats?

  • mudge

    Maybe he’d be willing to go to Arizona for Tony Campana. The guy can flat-out run.

    • Danny Ballgame

      Intriguing………

    • scorecardpaul

      no way in hell arizona makes that trade
      no way in hell arizona makes that trade
      no way in hell arizona makes that trade

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Will the fact Soriano conceded the fact these are probably his last 2 years affect his trade value? I don’t think it can help…I can’t see Soriano getting traded before Marmol. Marmol gets traded, Sori and Garza stay…Garza gets extended for near Anibal contract – 5yrs/90mil.

  • rich

    Soriano is full of crap ! All he cares about is his stats . He declines to even name the teams. All of a sudden he wants to go to a contender. (Giants ) the jerk declined saying he did’nt think they were good enough to win ! He’s nothing selfish, lying piece of crap .

    • TWC

      [img]http://images.wikia.com/glee/images/7/7d/Loudnoises.jpg[/img]

    • JoeyCollins

      If all he cared about was stats he would stop playig left and just DH somewhere, but that’s not what he wants. He shouldn’t name the teams, it seems the Cubs have the list and that’s all that matters. If you publicize the list it can seriously hurt the Cubs leverage at the deadline. He didn’t want to go to San Fran because how cold it can get, among other reasons, and has since admitted that it was probably a bad decision. I think he’s been pretty honest this entire time and would just prefer to finish up here in Chicago.

      • Jamie

        Is your face always that color through hate and rage?

        • Jamie

          Sorry, Joey…meant that comment for Rich.

    • DarthHater

      Everybody in the Cubs organization who actually knows and works with Soriano has only great things to say about him. But I’m sure your view, based on ignorance and resentment, is far more accurate.

      • Danny Ballgame

        A great mind always uses no factual information whatsoever to call someone that they have never met a selfish dick. That’s a fact, look it up on the intrawebs

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The problem with getting to know someone is that their words and actions will distract you from being able to see it* in their eyes.

        *it = all important aspects of a person’s true motivations, a right exclusively held by true sports fans.

        • Danny Ballgame

          Doc, according to Betty Everett “It’s in his kiss”. Not sure how that factors into potential trade pieces though

    • Rcleven

      Sorri never turned down a trade to SF. Discussions never got as far with SF to the point Sori had the opportunity to nix the deal. Per SF GM.

  • Navin R. Johnson (formerly mirky waters)

    Fastball beat me too it, but I can’t see him having any interest in the Mets. They aren’t contenders, not even close. Best bet is Yankees

  • scorecardpaul

    I don’t really think he will be traded. I would like to see it, but just not counting on it. I don’t know how we can take Miami out of the discussion? they just want inexpensive players. Cubs just want to turn him into prospects. Is there any way we could just eat more contract and get some decent prospects?? He would be close to home?

  • Vince

    Someone said there is not much many people want on the White Sox roster but what about Dayan Viciedo his average is a little low at .255 but he had 25 home runs and 78 rbi’s last year. It might need to be a package deal but if we could trade for him we are still getting some power back and I have heard he can play third base along with the outfield

  • JR

    No trade clauses and 10/5 right are soooooo awesome…

  • SirCub

    Nice thought experiment, Brett. One reason for not excluding the Dodgers: since when did having no need for a player stop them from making acquisitions?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha.

      • SirCub

        I’m kind of serious though. They could be a good fit, even if they aren’t really a good fit, just because they can afford to pay him to be bat off the bench.

  • Tommy

    I think the White Sox would be a great fit for Soriano, but from the farm system rankings I’ve seen it seems like they wouldn’t have much in young talented trade value.

  • DPRagen

    The signing of Alfonso Soriano was the best transaction the Cubs have made since the insane free agent system came into being. He was brought in to help win a World Series and it would already have happened but for some serious leg injuries to Alfonso in conjunction with some incredibly inept management by Piniella and Quade. That is the unpredictable nature of baseball. The point is not that he is overpaid (they all are). In retrospect Hendrie overpaid but the contract is now a sunk cost. At this point trying to recoup part of the contract’s cost by some silly trade is stupid. He has more value just as a draw to bring people into the ball park. If, by some miracle, they start to win enough to contend he will be even more desperately needed to provide some power for their anemic offense.
    I don’t give Hendrie too much credit for the signing as it was more or less forced on him but the pertinent question now is how to best capitalize on their good fortune. To me the solution is simple. Extend his contract for two more years and use the 4 year interim period to groom him to run their operation in the Dominican Republic after his playing days are over. The future of winning major league talent is obviously in the Latin countries and this move would give the Cubs the edge they need to be consistent winners. Will they have the sense to exploit what has fallen in their laps? Judging by the recent past I doubt it.

  • Bigg J

    There are 5 teams here in the upper east part of the U.S., but he wont take a trade to the Giants? He doesn’t even want to look at the west coast because it gets cold. How do you think the east coast is going to feel? It is going to be worse. What an idiot.

    • BWA

      He said he would go to LA. San Francisco is cold year round.

    • TWC

      Soriano’s not talking about January, kid. You ever been to San Francisco in June? July? Even August?

      Oh, no? Cool. So you don’t know what you’re talking about. Well let me help you out. The average summer highs in SF are approximately equal to the average LOW temperatures on the East Coast.

      He’s earned the right to decide where he wants to play.

      • Bigg J

        He does have the right to choose where he wants to go “kid”. If he wants to win so bad, why does he want to go to a couple losing teams( white sox, mets, even rays)? He said that he didnt want to go to SF because he didnt feel like they could win (ended up winning it all), so why chose 2 teams that arnt going to do anything for the next couple years? He has about 2-3 years left in his career, why choose these teams? The Rangers have the best shot to win soon and the others not so much. The Yanks are too old, Orioles in too tough a division along with the Red Sox, Rays mets and white sox arnt going to do anything, and the Phillies are so up and down and have no outfield. Why not try and win now with Giants, Rangers, and hell try for Jays for DH role as they have Lind for their DH (we know how well that was last year).

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          The Rays are a loser franchise?

          The ‘made the playoffs in three of the past five season in the toughest division in baseball’ Rays?

          The Rays that have three straight seasons with more than 90 wins (in the toughest division in baseball), and four 90 win seasons in the last five?

          The Rays that have basically been the definition a successful and well run franchise since 2008 despite operating with no fan support and one of the smallest budgets in baseball?

          Those Rays are a loser franchise?

          Good grief. You have some mighty high standards there.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Losing team, not loser franchise. My bad.

  • Bigg J

    They may be cold year round, but arnt as bad as when you get into the fall and is about 40 degrees in NY. I dont get then why he added the Mets and White Sox. They arnt going to win anytime soon.

    • AB

      NYC is not that cold in the fall. Tropical storms (same ones that are responsible for Hurricane seasons) usually push warm fronts up to New England in the fall depending on the strength of the Bermuda High (not the kind of Bermuda high you’re probably thinking about).

    • DarthHater

      Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
      NY 58 68 77 83 81 74 63 Highs
      SF 63 65 68 69 70 73 70

      NY 42 53 63 68 66 58 47 Lows
      SF 49 51 53 55 56 56 54

      Can we move on to a different subject now? ;-)

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