alfonso soriano hittingAlfonso Soriano understands that the Chicago Cubs aren’t likely to be competitive in 2013, and he also understands that they’re building for the future by trading guys like Soriano. He may or may not like it, but it’s been clear in everything he’s said that he understands it.

When discussing the possibility of a trade earlier this year, Soriano indicated that he wouldn’t be willing to waive his no-trade rights until he’d at least given the Cubs a fair shake to come out of the gate and surprise. If he was going to win in the twilight of his career, he wanted it to be with the Cubs. I have no problem with that, and think it’s pretty cool.

But the Cubs are now 10 games under .500 with June fast approaching. Is it time to start thinking about a trade? It kind of sounds like Soriano is there.

“Sometimes, you just think too much,” Soriano told of a recent loss to the Pirates in which the Cubs held an early lead behind a great Matt Garza start, only to lose the game late. “I get frustrated when you see that happen, because I’m tired of losing. I don’t want to be on a losing team and have a bad record.”

“One day at a time, today’s another day, and do the best I can to win today and I’ll be fine,” Soriano later continued. “I’m happy when we win. When we lose, no matter how we lose, I’ll be [ticked off]. I understand we won’t win 162 games, but we have a good team and are good enough to have a better record than we have now. That’s what makes me frustrated.”

I’d think it fair that Soriano could only suffer so much more frustration before he decides it’s time to open up to the opportunity to land on a winner for a couple more seasons. He has the right to be choosey, though, and the Cubs will probably have to work hard (and eat a whole lot of salary) if they want to move him before the Trade Deadline. So far, Soriano isn’t helping much: although he’s shown good health and spry legs, he’s hitting just .263/.293/.401.

If he’s frustrated with the state of things with the Cubs, and if he’s slowly accepting that a trade is inevitable, he could help out his own options by picking it up at the plate a bit.

However it plays out, and wherever Soriano lands, I suspect he’ll have a lot of Cubs fans cheering for him from afar. I’d like to see him do well somewhere if it isn’t going to be with the Cubs.

  • http://permalink tobytaylr

    writings on the wall fonzi—time to roll out

  • Austin

    He’s right. This Cubs team is absolutely good enough to be .500, so being 10 games under .500 has to fall on the manager. When is Dale going to hold himself as accountable as he tries to hold his players?

    • YourResidentJag

      Great so the team is .500 this season as opposed to 10 games under. It’s hardly Svuem’s fault that the NL Central has three teams playing out of their minds right now. Even if the Cubs were playing up to their “Dave Cameron” potential, it still gets this team nowhere. They’re still in one of the toughest division this season in MLB. I don’t think that’s likely to change. Oh sure, the Pirates go through their characteristic fallback. It’s hardly Svuem’s fault, so stop blaming him.

    • BluBlud

      I think sveum has done a horrible job this year as a manager, but he is not the reason we are 10 games under .500, at least not solely. I do agree that Sveum very rarely excepts blame for making a crazy decision. Frank Vogel of the Pacers is how you should manage. When ask why he left Hibbert out of the game the other night, he said “cause I screwed up and he’ll be in there next time.” I have yet to see Sveum even come close to something like that with his decision making. He always comes out the next day and blames the player for not being Focused, ready, prepared or talented enough.

      • mudge

        Sveum said “This one’s on me” after the Garza game.

        • BluBlud

          Didn’t catch that one.

    • mjhurdle

      I would be interested to see the rational for how being 10 games under “has to fall on the manager”.
      Im guessing it would be more of the ‘ignore everything good, focus on the things that are now shown to be bad after we all see the results, and blame it all on the manager.”.

      • Austin

        The rational is that the bullpen is horrible and at the beginning of the season he kept using Marmol, and getting the same crappy results. He continues to use our best reliever (Russell) for just 1 hitter per inning. I get the lefty on lefty matchup, but righties have a hard time against them too. We got LUCKY with Gregg, so please don’t try to give Sveum credit for that.

        Also, he continues to trot out Hairston against lefties, as if he’s effective against them. He definitely isn’t. Sveum isn’t solely responsible for us being 10 games below .500. I never said he was the only reason, but you have to look at the mistakes he keeps making over and over and over, and wonder if our record could actually be better had he learned from them the first time.

        • YourResidentJag

          So, who do you want him to trot out against lefties instead of Hairston, DeJesus? Brett Jackson? Borbon?

        • mjhurdle

          Russell is on his way towards his career high in IP. He has come in for one batter 7 times, and for an inning or more 11 times. His previous high pitch count for a year was 1184 last year. He is on pace already to break that mark by over 100 pitches. So your whole ‘One hitter an inning” statement is blatantly false.
          You seriously want to keep running Russell out so that next year you can complain when he becomes Camp 2.0?
          Hairston has 900 ABs against lefties in his career, and is hitting .270 against them.
          But you put more weight in the 45 ABs he has scattered across the start of this year to say that he definitely isn’t effective against them?
          The rationale you offer is weak.
          I am all for people not liking Sveum, I just would hope that if you dislike him for no good reason, just have the guts to say that.
          I have players that i don’t like for no other reason than i don’t like them.
          Stop trying to pretend that you have valid, obvious reasons for disliking him, or actually come up with some.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Hairston has is a .263/.308/.464 batter against lefties over the last 3 years. Those are the “real” numbers that predict his future performance, not the tiny sample size from this year.

          People want to blame the bullpen for the Cubs being under 0.500, and the bullpen certainly has hurt: the Cubs are 2-7 when the bullpen blows a save. However, after 6 innings the Cubs have held the lead in only 19 games and were trailing in 23 of the remaining 27 games. Given that the Cubs’ starting pitching has been good, this really indicts the offense’s inability to crack the opposition starting.

          In all, although people want to blame managers, nobody has been able to find a manager who consistently got his team to play worse (or better) than the team’s core numbers predict. (Of course, managers can hurt the team’s core numbers with who they decide to start: but the GM has a much bigger effect on that.)

          • Mike Taylor (no relation)

            Well, he got regular playing time last year, 134 Games, 398 PA, so even if he’s hitting 7th in the lineup, he’s getting consistent playing time. Too bad it’s only a .299 OBP average the past 3 years to go along with it.

    • Voice of Reason

      Blaming sveum for this team would like blaming tibbideau for the bulls season. Neither have enough to win.

      Sveum isn’t the best manager we have ever had by far, but not even God could coach this team and have it at .500 right now.

      If anything they might be overachieving right now.

  • Bryan

    what is a realistic return that we can expeict for sori?

    • TWC

      Mike Trout.

      • TWC

        Or Steve Trout.

        • BluBlud

          Trout Filet

          • TWC

            Mmm… now I’m hungry, and it’s not even 10am.

            • SirCub

              Really? The west coast is so crazy…

              • Cubbie Blues

                There is also a big time difference.

                • SirCub

                  *rim shot*

            • BluBlud

              TWC, make sure you grab some Chedder Cheese and bacon Grits with that Trout.

              • TWC

                This is Northern California, kid. Don’t you mean I should grab some artisinal, small-batch, certified organic, Jersey-milk cheddar with hand-ground heirloom organic corm meal with vegetarian bacon substitute?

                • hansman1982

                  You do that. And I’ll go out to the nearest factory farm and get their sane person counterparts…

                • BluBlud

                  If that what makes you happy. I’ll keep eating the stuff thats bad for you over here in the east coast.

                • Cub Style

                  Ron Swanson and I share similar views on vegetarian bacon.

          • RoughRiider

            Steelhead Trout

    • Edwin

      Nothing special. Put yourself in the shoes of the other team. If you were going to trade for an aging LF in what is mostly a rental deal, what Cubs prospect would you be willing to give up?

      • David

        Ben Wells? Matt Szczur? Alberto Cabrera? Paul Blackburn? Gioskar Amaya? Rock Shoulders? Ronald Torreyes? Guys ranked somewhere from 10-25 in our fairly deep system.

        • Edwin

          Sounds about right.

  • Jp3

    Get hot if you want out, sub .300obp and only a handful of HRS won’t get you anywhere.

    • DarthHater

      Thanks for reminding the players that they need to get hot. I’m sure they had never thought of that and your wisdom will now help them turn things around.

  • BluBlud

    I like Sori. The guy is as classy as they come. He has had his “problems” in Chicago, b ut I don’t his problem were any worse then anyone else in baseball. His contract magnified a lot of things that would not have been noticed if it were other players. He has always done the best he could in my opinion, and there are a couple playoff years that we wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for him. For the people who think he sucks because of his contract, ask yourself this question. If someone offered you 100+ million to play baseball right now, would you take it. I know I would.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      classy guys would have tried the first five years.COME ON MAN.

      • JoeyCollins

        .818 OPS over his first five years ad a Cub, and that includes a couple of seasons he fought injuries.

    • Don

      I’d be ashamed to collect Soriano’s pay check with his performance!

  • SirCub

    “I get frustrated when you see that happen, because I’m tired of losing. I don’t want to be on a losing team and have a bad record.”

    I don’t take these comments to mean he wants to be on a different team. I take it as, he wants the team he is on to be different.

  • Die hard

    Brett You stole my thunder– I posted this Soriano bit this am!! 😀

    • TWC

      Did Die hard just use an emoticon? What the eff?

      • DarthHater

        YES! 😛

      • Drew7

        :Mind = Blown:

  • Dustin S

    I wish the best for just about all former Cubs. Even guys like Zambrano, part of the reason he was a hothead was because of the some of the long losing years he went through. I appreciate their years of service even if it didn’t work out the way we all hoped.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Zambrano’s lack of discipline was likely the cause of a great deal of Cubs culture problem that lead to more losing. He often would take his frustration out on the “wrong guy” anyway and we will never know what this did to the confidence and performance of his teammates. His WAR based on his performance should be taken with a grain of salt, as he was clubhouse poison.

  • another JP

    Sori has a .301 weighted on base average and won’t be a 2 WAR player this year. If he wants to bitch about losing he’s not exactly helping matters, especially given his $19M contract. Wish he would have had been enlightened when the Cubs were ready to ship him off to SF or B-more. Now we won’t get crap in return.

    • JoeyCollins

      Yep let’s blame him for the contract he was offered.

  • Timmy

    The guy could have accepted a trade that would have got him a world series ring and he turned it down … some guys just aren’t built as winners. I still like him overall though. He doesn’t hurt the team in any specific way, there’s just a talent vacuum that won’t be filled any time soon. He’ll have to stew here with us in his giant mansion.

  • Mick

    Kris Bryant, #2 pick for the Cubs, goodnight.

    Trade Soriano, Garza, Russell, and whoever else for pitching but we’ll never need to worry about 3B again.

    • Craig

      I agree. Bryant is what we need. Starting pitching is already our strength

      • #1lahairfan

        Starting pitching prospects are not even close to being our strength yet.

        We do have a decent amount of middle to back end of the rotation guys in our system, but our starting pitching is just not there yet.

      • JoyceDaddy

        If you recall, Theo wants to have “waves and waves” of pitching coming up through the farm and our farm system is currently not stocked with high-end pitching talent. I just have a gut feeling that if we end up with Gray/Appel we will be getting a Mark Prior in this year’s draft. Picking between Appel, Gray, and Bryant is a nice problem to have though. Personally, I had wanted Gray for the longest time but I am now hoping that we end up with Appel.

      • Kyle

        It’s our strength right now. Medium and long term? It looks to me like our biggest weakness.

        • Luke

          A lot depends on how well that 2012 crop of pitching plays out. If they pan out well, the long term picture is starting to brighten.

          We’ll get our first indicator in Boise this summer.

          • Jp3

            Boise, so Blackburn and Underwood are 2 of the bigger ones that should debut there right??

          • Kyle

            Yeah, but even then, those are supplemental picks and second+ rounders. Every team has a crop of those they are praying on.

            If they all take steps forward, sure, but they could just as easily fizzle.

            • Jp3

              I agree, those guys are all crapshoots but don’t kill my dreams Kyle😊. Yeah I’d be happy if one pans out from Boise. Pierce J looks pretty good tonight, I only say move him up because he’s been pretty good but he’s a little old for low A baseball.

            • Luke

              That’s why the Cubs drafted a bunch of them. Even with a high fizzle rate, if you pack enough in the system one or two should emerge.

              • Kyle

                Hiring that amazing pitching coordinator should help as well.

                • Luke

                  Quite possibly the best move of the offseason. We’ll know in about five years.

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  • Fastball

    You have to respect the man. He is a good Cub. I have had his Fathead in my mancave for a long time. I think Sori is a Cub for life. He wanted to stay and play out his contract even in the bad years. That makes him a real professional baseball player IMO.

  • Die hard

    Soriano could be traded tomorrow by saying to other team they could have any pitcher on staff as well and Cubs will pick up 90% of Sorianos salary– in exchange give Cubs 3 single A players — done deal