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alfonso soriano hitting[See the Updates below. The deal is official.]

The obligatory preface: considering his age (37), offensive decline (102 OPS+ this year, despite the crazy hot streak), his contract ($18 million this and next year), and his no-trade rights, the return on an Alfonso Soriano deal was never going to be fantastic. That said, the Cubs were not going to trade him just to trade him, and it was fair to assume that they would extract some value for Soriano, if they decided to move him (in addition to the bonus value of the opened up outfield spot and the opportunity to give Soriano a chance to win).

If the early rumors this morning are correct, it sounds like the Cubs are going to get some value for Soriano, who has already said his goodbyes and headed off to New York.

First, on the money side, the range of dollars the Cubs will be saving on the $25 million Soriano is owed is somewhere between $7 and $12 million (Jon Heyman says $7 to $8 million, Joel Sherman says $8 to $12 million; Heyman explicitly says it’s under $10 million, though). The Yankees were always going to try and have the Cubs pay as close to $18 million as possible (Soriano’s full 2014 salary) for luxury tax purposes. Mentally, I’d prepared myself for about $7 million in savings, so anything over that is a win.

On the prospect side, the consensus seems to be that the Cubs had three, lower-level pitching prospects to choose from. Bruce Levine describes the three possible pitching prospects as top 20 in the Yankees’ system, but not top 10. Once again, generally speaking, that sounds great, given the limitations enumerated in the first paragraph of this post.

Two of the three names appear to be High-A starter Corey Black (rumored last night) and AA reliever Tommy Kahnle, per Jon Heyman. Each is a guy with great stuff but control/command issues. Black is 21 (soon to be 22), and Kahnle is 23. Pre-season, John Sickels ranked Black 12th in the Yankees system (and probably falling a bit from there), and Kahnle was just outside the top 20.

Getting a guy you can dream on as a future contributing reliever – hard thrower, huge strikeout rate, but flawed – is a nice return for Soriano at this stage in the game. Combine that with significant cost savings, roster turnover, and helping out Soriano? I like where this is going.

But we’ll see.

UPDATE: Buster Olney reports the financial side like this: “Soriano is owed about $24.5m through ’14. CHC are going to pick up about $17.7m. NYY will pick up about $6.8m of that, including $5m in ’14.” So, $7 million in savings would be on the low end of what you’d hope for, but nothing to bat an eye at. The surprising part would be the Yankees picking up $5 million in 2014 – that counts against the luxury tax cap. I wonder if the Cubs preferred not to cover the whole thing next year? The financial side of this deal is extremely complicated, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s hard to describe in a single tweet exactly how it’s all playing out, and how much the Cubs really “save.”

UPDATE 2 (8:05am CT): Jim Bowden is reporting that the Commissioner’s Office has approved the trade and it is now official. We’ll still wait for word from the teams. We also still need official word on what the Cubs are getting.

UPDATE 3 (8:26am CT): Jon Heyman counters Bowden with an, “um, no it’s not.” Heyman believes it’ll be approved soon, but says it hasn’t been yet.

UPDATE 4 (9:48am CT): While we await formal, final, official confirmation, and the official identification of the Cubs’ return, Nick Cafardo drops this bomb, which Buster Olney hinted yesterday: the only team Soriano would accept a trade to is the Yankees. If true, then you’ve got to feel even better about the return the Cubs were able to get. That said, I suspect we’re going to hear some folks refuting Cafardo’s report on this point.

UPDATE 5 (10:00am CT): Joel Sherman reports it is indeed Corey Black coming to the Cubs.

UPDATE 6 (10:54am CT): Well, the deal still hasn’t officially been announced, but, everyone seems to agree it’s Soriano to the Yankees for Corey Black, with the Yankees taking on $5 million per year for Soriano (prorated this year to $1.8 million), for a total cash savings to the Cubs of $6.8 million. John Sickels has a quick take on Black, who sounds like a legit pitching prospect, albeit one with some size and control issues. Here’s a snippet:

Born on August 4, 1991, Black isn’t a big guy, standing 5-11, listed at 175. As you would expect from a former shortstop, he is a very good athlete and has plenty of arm strength: he’s been clocked as high as 100 MPH in short stints and works in the mid-90s as a starter. He has a curveball, slider, and changeup. Although none of his secondary pitches are considered outstanding, they off-set the fastball well when his command is on. His mechanics aren’t the smoothest and his command is inconsistent, but he picks up strikeouts at a good clip.

If he throws strikes and makes further progress with his secondaries, Black can start at higher levels. If that doesn’t work out, his arm would still look good in the bullpen.

This is a good deal for everyone.

UPDATE 7 (3:40pm CT): The deal is officially official. Welcome, Corey Black. Farewell, Alfonso Soriano.

  • SalukiHawk

    I guess one way to look at it is the $7M in savings is enough to net a few more IFAs and pay the overage tax on same, which it appears at this point will be substantial. At this point, they might as well go for broke, because as I understand the rules, they will essentially be taken out of the game for the next IFA spending cycle, because of the very low bonuses they’ll be able to give. It sounds like that was the plan from the start, and I can’t help but wonder if that was the impetus for moving Sori for some freed up cash.

    • SalukiHawk

      My apologies to Josh and others above who already make this point. I didn’t see it in the discussion.

  • Jim

    I was thinking today about the spark plug that has been Junior Lake and wondering if maybe it is not too early to take a look at Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez still this year. Baez has been tearing up AA as of late and has 25 homeruns for the year already. Alcantara has been playing 2B in AA and has 13 homeruns and 22 stolen bases. I am not sure if Baez can play 3B or OF, but it might be fun to get a look at both of them. I know … start the clock blah blah blah. I just think a nice 1 to 2 month look at them now could help plan the 25 man roster for next year and create an exciting team to watch!

    • cub2014

      I think we see Alcantera in September. Probably Olt very soon.

      • bleeds cubbie blue

        doubt it on alcantara

    • On The Farm

      I don’t get the call them up to get the fans excited. What if they come up and fail like Brett Jackson and Vitters did last year. People think minor league success automatically translates to big league success. Baez just got to AA, and just started hitting AA pitching. Lets let him continue that on a consistent basis before we are booking his flight.

      • cub2014

        On the farm, you are right most of these guys fail the
        1st time (look at rizzo) but many succeed the second time.
        I dont think Baez is ready, though it would be fun to see.
        I think based on walk and strikeout rates Alcantera is ready.

        • lukers63

          No to be a Braun-nozzle, but if you think it would be fun to see Baez, catch a Smokies game. Plenty of other good players there too!

        • bleeds cubbie blue

          while the 9.7% walk rate is good, he’s gotta get that k% back under 20%

      • Lou Brown

        Agree, Lake had close to two seasons at AA before his abbreviated AAA stint. He signed the same time as Starlin Castro, so he got plenty of time in the farm system. No need to rush things, let them develop.

      • ssckelley

        But I do not think it is necessarily a bad thing for a prospect to come up and “fail”. They still get exposed to major league pitching, coaching, and veteran players. Those September call ups can help a prospect gage exactly what he needs to work on in the minors for when that next opportunity presents itself.

        • On The Farm

          Being a September call up is different. The orginal post was about putting them on the 25 man, if you are going to call them up at the end of the season and give them a few spot starts, maybe an AB here and there, that’s another thing. If you are calling them up for a 25 man spot, they better be starting everyday, and if they end up looking like Brett Jackson it can completely destroy their confidence.

          • hansman1982

            It all depends on what is the primary thing keeping Baez from hitting .300+ in the minors. Is it his approach, contact issues, pitchers throwing fewer hit-able pitches as he progresses?

          • Jim

            Actually in my post I was talking about the auditions for the 25 man roster next year, though I don’t think there would be too many upset Cub fans to see Alcantara over at 2B this year still

        • hansman1982

          If Baez’s problem truly is his “HIT MOAR HOMERZ” approach, I think he will need to fail at the MLB level before he unlocks the potential.

          However, he isn’t on the 40-man yet and you don’t want to start the service time any sooner than you have to. This season is out of the question.

          • mak

            That’s the key distinction.

          • MichiganGoat

            Baez will be a centerpiece of a trade before he plays for the Cubs. He’s not a Theo/Jed pick and the high Ks is something they don’t value. He would be used in a trade for a player like Price before the end of next year.

            • hansman1982

              Maybe I am being overly-enamored with Theo and Jed but I don’t buy into the “They will trade him because he isn’t theirs” line.

              I agree that they will trade him first because of the BB/K ratio and hold on to the others.

              • Eternal Pessimist

                I don’t think Jed/Theo look at BB/K to the exclusion of all other important factors (OPS, work ethic/future growth potential, fielding to a lesser extent, positional value).

                No one is going to be too anxious to trade away a big-bomber who may be the next A-Rod…err, I mean [insert some sure-thing, non-chemically-induced success story here].

              • mudge

                I don’t buy that either.

            • Whiteflag

              Am I the only one not excited about giving up so many quality prospects for Price?

              • Mr. B. Patient

                I’m with you on the Price thing, maam. I don’t think he fits into our competetive window.

                For all of you so anxious to trade Baez, who do you expect back in that trade?

                Theo guy or not, you have to get a main cog for your future if you trade the 20 year old organization leader in home runs. (and k’s)

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Definitely not excited by the idea of most of the Price proposals on this blog. Give away 3-4 exciting, top tier prospect for Price, but you are giving away the cost-controlled component of the future that makes the prospects (collectively) more valuable than Price (singularly). Keep the prospects and just add the arms in FA.

                  • Scotti

                    While I agree that they shouldn’t sell the farm for Price, the argument that they should just wait for a FA to fall into their laps isn’t a strong one. It’s rare that a Price quality pitcher hits free agency. Even Price isn’t likely to hit free agency. He will be traded and signed to an extension. That extension is cheaper NOW than free agency will be then. Fewer years and fewer dollars. You make the trade contingent on him signing the extension (our add a couple of PTBNL if he signs).

          • YourResidentJag

            Problem is we may be saying this as well with Olt.

    • Rebuilding

      Baez is hitting 226 with 3BB/25K. He could prob hit 20 HRs in the majors now while hitting 190 and striking out 200 times. He’s got plenty to work on

      • On The Farm

        You are not taking in the “excitement factor” for the fans though

    • cubchymyst

      I could see Alcantara getting some time in september, he will be added to the 40 man roster this winter anyways, give him a taste of the bigs before he starts next season in AAA.

    • Ivy Walls

      Not part of the plan. Theo/Hoyer have said they have to get meaningful AB’s at the AAA level. Why rush?

  • cub2014

    Any word on who is coming up for Soriano?

    • CubsFaninMS

      Schierholtz, Lake, Dejesus, Gillespie already options. Bogusevic and Sweeney on DL. We won’t need to call anyone up, although I predict we ship off Schierholtz and give Brett Jackson a look-see.

      • Freshness21

        I think B-Jax went down with another injury

      • sprtswiz1

        I doubt they will keep the active roster at 24 so they will be bringing someone up to take that spot. Doesn’t necessarily have to be an outfielder but there will be someone coming.

      • Ivy Walls

        B Jackson is off the grid, down in AZ trying to fix something on the 7 day DL

    • Jim

      I am guessing Arrieta, Grimm or Raley. We still have 5 outfielders on the roster and pitching is getting a bit thin.

      • On The Farm

        Won’t be Grimm or Arrieta in my opinion. Arrieta just pitched last night (and is slated to start the DH next week) so I can’t see him coming up for bullpen help. They have already said they want Grimm to work on his pitches in AAA. Raley seems like a possiblity if they feel they could use a bullpen arm for the next few days.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I though Arieta had some issues with losing a control year if he saw too much MLB time this year. Maybe thinking of someone else though.

          • On The Farm

            No that is an issue of him becoming a super 2 player. But, if he came up for a spot start next week that wouldn’t be enough time to effect his arbiration clock. I think he is looking at a start next week and unless he blows away the Brewers (actually very possible) he will head back to Iowa until late August/September. Although a trade of Villanueva may force the FO to decide whether to use Raley or Arrieta. I am not sure how well Baker’s rehab starts have been going, but I would have to assume Arrieta and Raley are options 1 and 1A to replace the next starter assuming Baker needs more time.

  • Lou Brown

    I am mainly excited that this makes some room in the outfield for Junior Lake. I want to see him getting consistent reps this year, and see him make the adjustments when the scouting reports catch up. I would like to get that out of the way this year in “garbage time”.

    • cub2014

      Jason Sparks scouting report of Junior Lake before this season:
      should hit .250-.260 in majors if he puts it all together it will
      be fun to watch. Lets hope he has put it all together.

      • Lou Brown

        There will be the adjustment coming. The scouting reports will catch up, the defensive alignments will take away the bunt, etc. The pitchers will find the holes in his swing. The big question is how does he handle it when that happens? Does he adjust? But man is he fun to watch. Last night I DVRd the game, and just fast forwarded to his at bats.

        • Spriggs

          When they stop throwing him strikes, we’ll see what happens.

  • Stinky Pete

    Joel Sherman says we are getting Corey Black.

    • Assman22

      Yep, done and done…

      • X the Cubs Fan

        Who’s next?

        • Assman22

          Schierholtz/Gregg…DeJesus bringing in some calls but Cubs may use him to fill Soriano’s role of team ambassador…Towers kicking himself for not getting Lake…

          • Jason Powers

            So. Pittsburgh. Think we could get 1 top prospect for both? A top 5 pittsburgh one?

            • Brandon Paoni

              Top 5???? No way, not a chance! But if we could somehow extract Tyler Glasnow from them I’d be tickled pink!!!!

          • mudge

            Any thoughts of moving Barney?

            • Jim

              I don’t think Barney would bring back much value. I think he would be better served as a backup utility infielder for us, and that may be how other teams view him as well. I would guess that Watkins or Alcantara unseat him soon if he stays.

              • Eternal Pessimist

                Agree on Barney. He seems to be hurting his value lately between his bad at bats (doesn’t look like he even expects to get any ball-contact and walks back to the dugout so efficiently as if he knew he would be striking out.

                On top of that, he seems to be getting the defensive “yips” as well, though I am probably being way too critical of his generally amazing D.

          • CubsFaninMS

            Assman!? Assman!? Will I find true love?

            • Eternal Pessimist

              If you are looking to an “assman” for true love, well then….

          • Nate

            Together or just one of them is next? Is this a Pirates deal?

        • cub2014

          Villanueva & Gregg hopefully Barney but it will be tough
          to find a taker.

  • mudge

    I like to see my colt in this lineup.

  • MichiganGoat

    Nicky C would never push the edge of reality and truth- never ever ever

    • hansman1982

      It depends, what reality is he living in?

      • MichiganGoat

        Well the same reality where Garza for Theo made sense.

  • ETS

    ” If true, then you’ve got to feel even better about the return the Cubs were able to get.”

    Doesn’t that mean we have less leverage? I think I missed something here.

    • MichiganGoat

      It means we’re lucky to get 7M and a fringe prospect like Black.

      • ETS

        Gotcha – like we feel even better we did as good as we did. I was reading it that we can feel even better about how this will turn out, even though we are not sure what that is yet.

  • Tim

    I understand all the love Soriano is getting, and while he did some nice things here it he in no way shape or form lived up to his contract. Was it his fault he was offered that deal? No. Regardless, his contract was a major problem over the course of his time here. In fact for the majority of his time here, he was an oft-injured, poor fielding, bad approach at the plate(low walk total), bad base running, lacking hustle player.

    He seemed to be a different player the last couple of years, but I can’t look at his time here as anything other than a failure. SSS alert, but his playoff performances were poor, and just because he has been a good teammate(something you should be anyway) isn’t enough for me to remember him fondly. I wish him well because I wouldn’t wish anyone bad, I just think there is too much Soriano love going on right now. At the end of the day he represented perfectly this era of Cubs baseball, that’s not a good thing.

    • http://tootblan.tumblr.com TOOTBLAN Time

      Please show your work on how he was a bad baserunner?

    • Coach K

      He did average 27 home runs a year for his first 6 years as a Cub. That’s outstanding when you consider th fact that he missed about a seasons worth of at bats with injury throughout those years. Injuries are frustrating but they are something I refuse to hold against a player. It’s not like Soriano wanted to be injured and didn’t try to get back. He did everything he could to be on the field every day.

      Ya, he doesn’t have the best plate approach. He never has. Bad base running? I never saw that. Lacking hustle? Outside of a couple times where watched what he thought was going to be a home run hit off the wall, I didn’t see much lack of hustle. Until the last 2 years he was a bad fielder. A lot of that blame goes to the coaching. He was never coached on how to play outfield until last season. Now, he’s actually not a bad outfielder.

      Soriano did exactly what he was brought to Chicago to do. He provided a big bat that could carry a team for weeks when he was in one of his hot streaks.

      Oh, and for what it’s worth, based off of $/WAR, Soriano actually DID live up to his contract. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t live up to the ridiculous expectations that some fans had for him.

      • mjhurdle

        well said.
        To me, Soriano is even more impressive given the fact that so many people made unfair criticism of him yet he still handled himself as a professional throughout it all.

  • mak

    The Cubs system is desperately lacking a guy who can dial it up in the high 90′s, so I have no problem with the return.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    If Vizcaino doesn’t work out at a starter I love the idea of Black and Vizcaino as our future setup man/closer.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      *as a starter

  • Justin

    It seemed pretty obvious he was only willing to go to Yankees. It’s cool he was willing to go somewhere I guess… I would be shocked it the front office ever let a guy get to his 10/5 rights again unless it’a a HOF dude. Obviously, NTC’s aren’t happening… Good luck making the playoffs with that roster Sori.

    • cubzfan

      I think he would have been willing to go to the Orioles if he thought he would actually get to play the outfield there, but I’m pretty sure they would only use him at DH. He might have also felt some loyalty to the Yankees…given the opportunity to go there, why would he agree to go to the Orioles and help them beat his old club?

  • CubsFaninMS

    After the trade deadline, there’s zero reason not to bring Brett Jackson up to see what he can do. It’s sink or swim time, IMO. If he busts, it’s time to cut the cord.

    • itzscott

      Agree

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Agree. Then we can finally move on one way or another.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Maybe he will catch a little of the “Lake effect” in the big leagues.

    • On The Farm

      Except for him dealing with some injury issues. I think it would make sense for him to get some more ABs in the minors before he will undoubtably be overwhelmed in the majors when he does get called up.

  • Rebuilding

    Interesting (and disheartening for a Cubs fan) article on the local TV contract “bubble”. Just hope we can get ours before it pops:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/dodgers-could-be-last-team-to-strike-gold-with-local-tv-deal/

    • Justin

      Wow. That is just insane and pretty scary for the Cubs to have to wait as long as they do for their TV contracts to expire. No wonder the Dodgers could care less about their payroll, they’re taking in $300 Mill more a yr than the avg team. It’s just mind blowing.. Their payroll has nothing to do with their “owners deep pockets”. It’s all about TV money.

  • Misty

    Found this analysis of Corey Black on a NY Yankee-related site. Provides interesting details about Black. Seems that the Yankees were in fact quite high on him as of early 2013. They most likely saw him as a potential closer. At least some serious potential here. Could not have expected more in return. Here is the link:
    http://riveraveblues.com/2013/01/prospect-profile-corey-black-81140/

  • The Dude

    What’s the code for a discount on BN apparel?

    • ETS

      something like
      XMASNJULY
      or XMASINJULY
      try those maybe?

    • MichiganGoat

      I think that promotion is over it was a one or two day thing.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Corey Black the kid with the Golden Arm all $17.7 mil of it!

  • itzscott

    Here in NYC, Yankee fans are none too happy about trading Corey Black for a 37 year old Alfonso Soriano.

    They would have had no problems had it been de la Cruz or Whitley.

    I don’t know anything about Black and never heard of him but the mere fact that Yankee fans have their shorts all bound up because the Yankees traded him away tells me it’s another really good return from Epstein & Hoyer.

  • ripiceman

    There are only two words that sum up Soriano’s time as a Cub for me: Utter Failure.

    Failure all around – from a GM who completely negotiated against himself and saddled this organization for the last 6 years with a bloated, nearly-untradeable contract to a player who failed at pretty much every reason why he was signed.

    I for one, will not join in the rousing standing ovation that every Cub and Cub fan seems to be doing today in celebration of Soriano’s career as a Cub. Tell me one thing there is to celebrate? Tell me one! This is typical Cub fan mentality – to applaud, praise and almost deify a guy whose entire Cub career can be looked surmised as underachiever, disappointment, and failure. The Soriano love the last few days has been nauseating to me and we treat him some sort of civic hero.

    For what? Maybe the Cub fan has been so numbed over years of failed expectations. Maybe the Cub fan’s hope has been so diminished in what should expect a player who is the highest paid player on the team.

    Do you not remember those early years? Do you not remember or has some sort of Cub malaise glossed over your eyes and mind to forget what a complete disappointment Soriano has been as a Cub. Do you not remember cold starts to seasons that (along with A-Ram and Lee) would cripple the Cubs before heating up at the middle/end of the season when the Cubs season was already lost? Do you not remember the terrible defense – late jumps on balls, missing cut off men, being afraid of the wall? Do you not remember the baserunning or the lack there of? No speed, baserunning gaffes, and the fact that he would almost never run hard out of the box, even when he was healthy. Do you not remember the MANY times where ala Sammy Sosa, he would linger around the box thinking his ball was homer only to have it be a long single? Do you not remember time after time having no situational awareness at the plate, not trying to do the right thing – work counts, hit the ball to right field, move runners along. Do you not remember the “I will only play well when I leadoff drama” when he basically pouted when Pineilla took him out of the leadoff spot? He hit 30+Hrs only twice in his 6 years. Over 100 Rbi only once. Stole only 19 bases on ’07 and ’08 and then under 10 ever since. His Cub OBP is near .320 mark. His total WAR as a Cub is 7.7 according to baseball reference. Oh and the two times the Cubs made the playoffs, Soriano gave us all 3 for 14 and pretty much ZERO impact. This is what $136M gets me?

    So what exactly are applauding here? What exactly are we celebrating? His professionalism? I’ve pointed out his utter lack of professionalism – lack of hustle, lack of playing the game the right way, lack of doing all the things a winning player does. His mentorship or taking young guys under his wings? I beg to differ. Soriano almost singlehandedly ruined Felix Pie’s career. I dont know if Pie would have been any good or not anyways but there are stories of how Pie was Soriano’s mini-me and spent more time enjoying the night life rather than working on his game. And really is that why we are celebrating Soriano? For being a good guy, for being “a professional”, for being a “mentor,” for his improved defense? Thats why he’s being paid $18M?

    For some reason Cub fans have given Soriano a break and excused his contract, blaming it on Hendry for giving him such a terrible one. I’m sorry but we are to also hold the player equally, if not more accountable for the contract and salary he signed as well. Why should my expectations of a player who is making $18M go down because of the GM’s lunacy in giving such a contract. Soriano accepted the deal and with it, he accepted the responsibility of being the face of the franchise, of being the best player on the team, and of putting up the statistical numbers that an $18M per year player merits. Simply put, Soriano failed in all of these areas.

    To Soriano, I say good riddance. Your years of inconsistency, stubbornness, and lackadaisical play crippled this team year in and year out and your “hot streaks” only made me wonder why they were not more sustainable. You accomplished nothing of significance as a Cub and did not do anything in terms of moving this organization forward or closer to winning a World Series.

    If you want to applaud anyone today, applaud a FO who was able to move Soriano, did so with the deft and delicate manner so as not to upset their “superstar,” save some money and still get some sort of prospect in return. I will stand in applause of that.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I lost interest after the words utter failure.

      • DarthHater

        I lost interest after the word ripiceman.

      • Whiteflag

        Ditto.

        • itzscott

          I don’t even have time to read that much when I’m sitting on the toilet.

          • Fishin Phil

            Too much fiber?

            • Mr. B. Patient

              Not enough. It’s amazing how much less I read since my diet got better.

      • mjhurdle

        i truly love the line that Soriano single-handedly ruined Felix Pie.

        with all the solid evidence that you provide to support your theory, i expect Pie to file a lawsuit against Soriano to reclaim the millions he would have made if he had been allowed to become the superstar he obviously would have been without Soriano’s interference.

        • ripiceman

          I full recognize that I do not know whether Pie would have turned out to be great or not but I do know that Pie was recognized as a top prospect that reached the majors and flamed out. Could it all have been on Pie? Possibly. But there many whispers and stories of how Soriano and Pie were very close and how Pie idolized Soriano and picked up many of Soriano’s bad habits, on and especially off the field. Are there full-blown exposes on this? No but usually off-the-field stuff is not written about in the papers unless the law is involved. There are tons of off-the-record stories of guys like Mark Grace, Kyle Farnsworth and many others who were night owls. For some, they were able to hide it better than others when it comes to on-field performances.

          Theo Epstein talked about this very issue as being a huge part of their player scouting and development. The off-field struggles and distractions of playing on a team that plays a lot of day games.

          • mjhurdle

            So i tried to glean your support for your opinion out of your posts. Here is what i found:
            1- Whispers of Soriano and Pie being close, and Pie picking up bad habits from Soriano.
            2- Stories of Soriano’s nightlife, which you actually don’t have, but the proof that they exist is “usually off-the-field stuff is not written about in the papers”.
            3- Even if we accept your inside knowledge of Soriano’s bad off-field habits, to link them to Pie’s failure, you cite 3 players (Soriano, Grace, Farnsworth) that had successful if not outstanding MLB careers…

            gotta say, you are not making a very strong argument…

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You should learn something about baseball. It’s actually a fun game to watch if you know something about it (and are not doing a self-colonoscopy).

      • DarthHater

        Oops. Somebody set the robot to “catty” again. :-P

      • Cubbie Blues

        Thanks, Doc. That was a well needed chuckle.

        Oh and Bazinga.

      • DarthHater

        BTW, Doc, the correct medical term for the procedure is cranialautocolonoscopy.

      • MoneyBoy

        Actually Doc, a self administered colonoscopy might be a blessing. If not for him, for the rest of us.

        • DarthHater

          Or at least an enema before the next post.

    • Chris

      Well written and exactly how many true fans of fundamental baseball feel today. Several yrs ago at Spring Training I was talking to a very popular former Cub pitching star and when Soriano was mentioned he went off–venting about how many games and innings that his awkward fielding had cost him–only to hit and admire a long fly ball later. He said for me to approach any pitcher who played with him and you will hear the same thing.

      • TWC

        “exactly how many true fans of fundamental baseball feel today…”

        Oh, the *TRUE FANS* argument. Awesome. I’m glad you and your secret former Cubs pitcher friend had that moment together.

        Please: get bent.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I don’t know if you were aware, but you accidentally placed a please in there.

          • TWC

            After I had my comments scrubbed yesterday, I figured I’d try some politesse.

            • DarthHater

              Aww, crap! What did I miss? :-D

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I don’t know what you’re talking about, but, if I did, I would be pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with anything you did wrong. And I’d also hope you would understand with a wink and a nod.

              But I don’t know what you’re talking about.

              • DarthHater

                So, TWC’s just trying to build himself up as a bad boy again, eh?

                • On The Farm

                  His off the field antics are a reason the Cubs were hesitent to give him his Funyuns bonus when he was drafted.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  You wouldn’t be questioning his rep if you have met him and his posse. It’s a pretty motley crew.

                  • DarthHater

                    I hear one of them smells like a goat.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Shhhhh, they are a sensitive bunch.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Wild musty nature

        • Chris

          No secret pitcher fan twc. It is America–talk to any pitchers that had to endure his left field debacles–go ahead–get away from the computer and come to Spring training where most all the veteran pitchers like to hang out–do not be scared and actually talk to a real player just once–oh and ask them about Soriano. You spoke of getting bent –not me–so what is on your mind front and center today.

          • TWC

            “No secret pitcher fan twc”

            Then name him. No? Then he’s your secret.

            “It is America”

            No shit. Irrelevant, but no shit.

            “get away from the computer and come to Spring training”

            You mean like I have 6 out of the last 9 years? Sweet!

            “do not be scared and actually talk to a real player just once”

            Scared? Odd straw man. Though I’m sure that your secret pitcher friend appreciated having some time to drone on while having a sycophantic lapdog eating it all up. Probably made him feel like he was still important.

            “You spoke of getting bent…”

            No. I suggested that *you* get bent. Still do.

            Don’t pull out the “true fans agree with me” bullshit to justify your argument. It doesn’t help.

            • Chris

              Please accept my sincere apologies.

            • On The Farm

              This was a pretty funny post. Cheers

    • CubsFaninMS

      John Grisham:

      (1) I think most fans on here are pretty clear about their viewpoint of Soriano. A contract that was impossible to live up to, a player clearly flawed in some areas of the game, but above average production and legitimate improvements late in his career (a rarity). Couple that with the fact that his intangibles were clearly important on this team and his WAR being near his contract value, I believe Cub fans have every right to give him a warm goodbye. Why is that nauseating? Sounds a little spiteful to me.

      (2) Last year for Soriano at 36 years old: 32 home runs and 108 RBIs. Uhh. You call that failure?

      (3) He ruined Felix Pie’s career? I’m glad we cleared that part up. I was beginning to think it was Felix Pie’s fault.

      You have a good vocabulary and are a good communicator, but your “burn Soriano at the stake” viewpoint sounds a little harsh.

      • DarthHater

        If you think that being an overblown windbag is equivalent to being a good communicator, I suspect you may have been spending too much time around politicians.

      • ripiceman

        Apologies for the length of the post but I had a lot to get off the chest.

        1. My nausea comes simply from all of the fans that are laying bouquets at the feet of Soriano, like he accomplished something as a Cub and brought years of great joy. If anything, Soriano brought more frustration than anything else. My question to you simple, what did Soriano do to help the Cubs contend or win a World Series? I simply see none. Thus, I dont understand the Soriano admiration.

        2. I understand that Soriano finished the season last year with 32Hrs and 108 RBI. Its actually quite remarkable for someone with his age and skills. My issue with the back of the baseball card approach is how a person gets there. ARam for example would always hit his stastical yearly averages but was a no-show until June. Soriano similarly disappears offensively for months. Yes, while he’s hot, he’s really good but the utter lack of consistency offensively has crippled the Cubs especially coming from your highest paid player.

        3. I addressed Pie as a response to another poster. There are numerous off-the-record accounts of Soriano and Pie and many bad habits Pie picked up while at the major league level. He was publicly chastised by Luke Scott while as an Oriole of these bad habits in an effort to turn him around.

        I agree… maybe I was harsh. I have nothing against Soriano personally but I dont believe in celebrating a career that proved to be more frustrating and fruitless than anything else.

        • Drew7

          “My question to you simple, what did Soriano do to help the Cubs contend or win a World Series?”

          You win the WS by getting to the playoffs. Soriano was instrumental in getting the Cubs to the playoffs in ’07 and ’08.

          “but the utter lack of consistency offensively has crippled the Cubs especially coming from your highest paid player.”

          Soriano’s career OPS by month:

          Mar/Apr: .833
          May: .867
          Jun: .818
          Jul: .840
          Aug: .807
          Sep/Oct: .837

        • Cubbie Blues

          Luke Scott, the golfer? That’s a bit odd isn’t it?

        • MichiganGoat

          ” There are numerous off-the-record accounts of Soriano and Pie and many bad habits Pie picked up while at the major league level.”

          Please provide one source that support this “numerous accounts” theory?

          • DarthHater

            Come on, Goat. The accounts are “off-the-record.” Can’t you read?

            • hansman1982

              Goats are color blind so, no, they can’t read.

            • MichiganGoat

              No I don’t read “A drunk man told me this so therefore it’s true”… and I speak drunk verys wells.

          • Chris

            July 12th 3 a.m. Both were drunk at the Tip Top Club in Blue Island. The next day Pie went 0-5 and fell down running to first base. Oneri Fleita was in parking lot with video camera. Officer Jeff Juniper gave them a warning ticket for speeding. Mayor Daleys nephew, Junior Daley got into a fight with both and written police report available to public for 50 cents a copy. Tv helicopter for channel 5 has film of them weaving on Dan Ryan. Also former stripper Debbie Dangles told me personally of this outing at the club. I believe her because she is now my wife.

            • MichiganGoat

              Source that please? Where did this come from?

            • SirCub

              Wow. That sounds like an awesome night.

            • MichiganGoat

              Oh wait this is a joke isn’t it?

            • Rebuilding

              ^^^That was a lot of gold packed in one paragraph. Well done

              • SirCub

                It sounds like the plot for The Hangover 4.

              • D.G.Lang

                Sounds more like a lot of fudge packed somewhere else.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Gracie says armature hour starts at 4AM. Hope she isn’t dangling anymore.

            • CubsFaninMS

              I didn’t know Perez Hilton covered Cubs prospects.

    • frank

      The player should be held accountable for the contract offer? So if someone was going to give you $18 million a year, you’d say, “Oh no–only $10 million please.”

      • CubsFaninMS

        “Oh no, I’m not THAT good. I don’t expect that much out of myself and YOU shouldn’t either. How does $10 million sound?”

      • ripiceman

        A contract offer was made because a contract demand was made as well. With that comes the implied responsibility of the person with the demand to assume the responsibility that goes with said demand.

        Soriano demanded to be paid like a superstar. He was offered and accepted his superstar offer. He failed to live up to his responsibilities as a superstar. Its fairly simple.

        I am not upset that Soriano accepted the offer, I’m upset that he failed to be accountable in living up to the responsibilities that is inherent in accepting the offer. Fortunately for him, contracts are guarantees, so he’ll get his money but it is perfectly reasonable to call him out on his failures.

        • Cubbie Blues

          You really are a pompous selfrightouse ass, aren’t you?

          • mudge

            I for one, think so.

          • ripiceman

            Not sure what I said that merited your response or your name calling. I just dont understand your righteous indignation in your support for Soriano.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Ok

        • hansman1982

          I’m upset that Soriano wasn’t good enough of a player for the Cubs!!!! REAGAN SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Jesus, just appreciate that he was a good player and, from all accounts, a pretty swell teammate, thank him for his time here and move along.

          in other words:

          STOP RUNNING EVERY DAMN PLAYER OUT OF CHICAGO WITH YOU SILLY-NINNY-NESS! (lots of expletives left out there)

          • Cubbie Blues

            Yes, you forgot that his mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.

          • ripiceman

            why must i appreciate a player who didn’t play the game the right way, was pretty selfish most of his career as a Cub, and didn’t live up to his contract?

            Not running anybody out of Chicago. The FO did that and they have been trying to do that since they got here. I just tend to lean more to the “i’m glad he’s gone”

            • hansman1982

              “why must i appreciate a player who didn’t play the game the right way, was pretty selfish most of his career as a Cub, and didn’t live up to his contract?”

              I’m not saying you have to, just that the facts don’t really support your statements.

              Then again, I’m just as much “not a true Cubs fan” as Soriano didn’t “play the game the right way” (whatever the hell that means)

    • itzscott

      Okay… I actually did read it this time and I AGREE 100% with the poster.

      Those pretty much highlight my sentiments for being thrilled to see Soriano traded and has never had anything to do with the money he’s making.

      Soriano was a clown and an embarrassment the 1st 5 years of his contract which demonstrated that he virtually had a baseball IQ of zero. He began taking things seriously when fans and the media began turning on him a few years ago.

      All in all, last year and this year were aberrations.

      • MichiganGoat

        Even the Pie part? Because that was ludicrous.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1374857750350905666.jpg[/img]

        • itzscott

          Okay… The Pie part wasn’t necessary. Put the blinders on when you get there, but the rest is pretty spot on.

          • MichiganGoat

            See I can’t really put blinders on the one part of the arguement that completely diminishes the validity of the rest of the arguement. But if you want to pick and choose truth and ignore fallacies then enjoy.

        • ripiceman

          What is ludicrious about the Pie part? If I told you that Farnsworth’s inconsistencies were also largely due to off-field influences, would you believe me? You may not read outright articles about it but it was absolutely true.

          • MichiganGoat

            No but you are directly putting Pie’s failures on Soriano. Please provide one piece of actual evidence of Soriano’s late night shenanigans and how Pie was directly damaged by his off the field behavior.

            I can understand not being a Soriano fan but to blame him for a player that never was successful is ludicrous.

            • CubsFaninMS

              In fact, there seems to be a going trend of blaming a veteran player for the shortcomings of a rookie/prospect from the same area of the world. I’m sure they have a closer connection, being from the same country/area of the world, but you can’t blame anyone but the prospect for failure. If Felix Pie and Alfonso Soriano got drunk and swung from chandeliers on the weekends, as adults they both made that decision. If Pie cared so much for his career, he could simply elect not to party so hard. He’s a full-grown adult prospect, not child.

      • Chris

        Itzscott–An A for knowing baseball. All the talk about what a hard worker he was is complete bullcrap. I have been at S.T. all of his years–at Fitch and Hohokam. Sure, he would take b.p. as everybody but would hide behind other outfielders for an hour rather than field and throw. He ignored longtime cub fans and kids for autographs but let a lovely lady be around and his eyes would light up like moons. This was the real Soriano for yrs and yrs and his teammates knew it and this clubhouse presence was an freaking joke. He had a Hall of Fame physique and a ten cent head who was un-coachable with his hop-skip personna. No axe to grind here as I bought a lot of tickets so my kids could see him swing for the moon. Entertainment but not a winner.

        • bbmoney

          No no…..I’ll take your word on it over his teammates and coaches. I’m sure it’s not because you’re one of the fans you say he ‘ignored’, and you clearly have no axe to grind, but whatever.

          • mjhurdle

            who has time for facts or proof when you have internet posts of people who have been to ST?

            • Hansman1982

              I thought about going to ST once, I also thought Soriano was going to knock the I e cream cone out of my hand. I’ve hated him ever since.

              • mjhurdle

                I heard from a friend who has a cousin that went to school with a girl that dates a Ice Cream Cone vendor that attends spring training, and he says that Soriano would knock ice cream cones out of everyone’s hands while he was down there. You can talk to pretty much any veteran ice cream vendor and they will tell you the same thing.
                So your hatred is well founded.

        • itzscott

          >> He had a Hall of Fame physique and a ten cent head <<

          Chris,,, I live in NYC and am surrounded by Met and Yankee fans much like I was surrounded by Cub & Sox fans when I lived in Chicago.

          Whenever the name "Soriano" is mentioned to a Yankee fan, the first words out of their mouth is that physically he possessed all the tools and talent, but he was the dumbest baseball player ever to put on a Yankee uniform.

          • Chris

            Itzscott–I spent way too many hours around this skirt chasing moron who wasted spring training every year. Hall of Fame could have been his but he was a daily slacker and un-coachable. New York had him all figured out as did Texas.

      • Senior Lake

        “Soriano was a clown and an embarrassment the 1st 5 years of his contract…”
        Yes, especially those 1st 2 years when he had OPS+ of 122 and 120.

        • SirCub

          Yea, really, he was just awful for his whole tenure with the Cubs, from 2007-2013.

          Except for 2007-2008, when he was awesome. And 2012-13, when he was much better than expected. And 2010, he was pretty good that year. And I guess he wasn’t really that bad in 2011.

          But other than THAT, he was an embarassment every single year.

    • Carew

      Something tells me you haven’t watched a lot of games the last couple years. Sori has actually been quite good.

      Assumptions are bad, but I assume that you are the type of fan that booed the hell out of him at the Cubs Convention last year for no reason.

      • Drew7

        “Something tells me you haven’t watched a lot of games the last couple years.”

        Or in 2007 and 2008.

    • MichiganGoat

      Mkay… Now can I have those minutes back? Ruined Felix Pie? ***slaming head into desk***

      • Chris

        Goat: Need your verbal expertise. On Carrie Muskat blog is a wonderful 78 yr old lady under the name of White. She loves to talk about the Cubs and has mentioned recently her M.S. and Inj. Meds dilemma. There is a blogger under name of Petrey who makes fun of her for non-cub or non-stat comments and just this morning told her no more nursing home comments. She lives at home and the cub telecasts are her life and yet he makes fun of her frequently. Why he is not banned is beyond me? Only you could say the right things at the right time to this vicious punk. Everybody else on the site loves Mrs White.

        • MichiganGoat

          Chris: not sure what you are asking from me here? I stay away from any of the Cubs.com blogs – there are too many idiot trolls on there.

          • Chris

            Goat: She is at home with m.s. and every time she comments on Cubs–and she actually is knowledgeable with baseball–this idiot Petrey viciously attacks her. Go to that site and backtrack and it will make you angry and I just do not have the expertise to defend her. You are the best at putting somebody in their place.

  • mudge

    I’m sure he would have hit more home runs if he’d realized he was accountable.

  • curt

    Have any of you ragging on soriano been paying any attention at all thd last 6 years soriano has done a decent job myb not a great job but a decent one if must rag on someone start with the ppl responsible for his contract soriano was not worth his contract but who do you think offered said contract, hmmmm thtd be hendry and who do you think authorized it Sam Zell so
    blame the right ppl.and at the time if I remember right ppl were wondering if the contract was to much, but most cubs fans were excited to have him at that time coming off his huge season with Washington , there’s no way he could live up to tht albatross of a contract , but the man tried hard and at his age made significant progress defensively I’m sad to see him go and wish him well if not his new team.

    • ripiceman

      You’re paying a guy $18M for a “decent job.”

      • hansman1982

        In case you haven’t noticed, getting a guy in FA is always overpaying for production. The last 6 years, GM’s have spent $11M to get 1 actual WAR out of their FA. Soriano got paid $14M per WAR that he produced.

        Soriano did a pretty good job while he was in Chicago, now just accept the fact that he didn’t break Bonds’ home run record in his time in Chicago and stop trolling.

      • Cubbie Blues

        To quote @BleacherNation: Soriano w/Cubs: 17.8 WAR thru 2012. At $/WAR of $5.5M that’s $97.9M. was paid $97M for 6 seasons

        Looks like he was worth the money spent after all. Who would have thought to look at actual numbers? Huh.

        • hansman1982

          Damnit, we really need to stop using facts and reason to cloud our judgement of Sorry-ano.

          • MichiganGoat

            DAMN YOU FACTS! You get in the way if my unnamed off the field sources.

            • DarthHater

              That ain’t facts! That’s one of them there high-falutin’ sabre mattress theories.

              • SirCub

                Sabre matress, rofl. You win.

                • DarthHater

                  [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1374861756467956175.jpg[/img]

                • DarthHater

                  Ack:

                  [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7420/9372887980_225def1a41_n.jpg[/img]

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Ha The Dark Lord of the Meme has the same problems as the rest of us.

                    • DarthHater

                      The difference is, I always successfully fix mine. :-P

        • drew

          Forget the numbers. According to unnamed sources he ruined PIE and Hated ICE CREAM. I will wager he destroyed HOT DOGS as well. Perhaps he was an terrorist posing as a baseball player. I will bet he knew where Bin Laden was as well.

          • CubsFaninMS

            He was also rumored to be targeting Tea Partiers with his home run balls.

        • YourResidentJag

          Hmm….and here I thought this was a blogsite devoted to ripping the Hendry years. :)

  • H.A.

    Soriano was having a craptastic season until about a month ago. Shocked that the Cubs could do this well in a trade. Well done front office.

    Thanks for the memories Alfonso.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Roundup of all trades…

    Garza, Soriano, Hairston, Feldman, Clevenger, Marmol, Torreyes, and Lillibridge for Strop, Arrieta, Guerrier, Olt, Edwards, Grimm, Pineyro, Black, 4 international signing bonus slots, 1 PTBNL/cash considerations(Lillibridge deal), and another 1 or 2 PTBNL from the Rangers. Did I miss anything?

    I believe the FO has done a magnificent job so far! Hopefully they’re saving a trade or two for the Blogathon though.

    • Nick

      I couldn’t agree more with you, but don’t forget all of the work done at the waiver wire as well.

    • Misty

      To the trade haul, add in at least 4-5 from the FA draft (Bryant, Zastryny , Hanneman, Alamo, Skulina). 3 from the IFA (Jimenez, Torres, Moreno) and just signed Jen Ho-Tseng, and the FO has added 17 quality prospects in the last 6 weeks. If they can acquire 2-3 more by the end of the trade deadline, they will have added 20 prospects total (of whom 7-8 are very highly rated), making this 6-7 week period a textbook example of how you rebuild a team. FO’s in the future will study this remarkable episode as the gold standard. The energy, stamina and attention to detail that was required to do all this is beyond impressive. As a result, the Cubs now do have a future.

    • On The Farm

      Picked up Borbon and Gillespie for the OF and Henry Rodriguez who they got through to AAA just a bit ago.

      • Spriggs

        Don’t forget our new clean up hitter, Cody Ransom!

        • Chris

          Cody can tell his grandchildren about being the cleanup hitter–oh, wait. They were at the game.

    • Nick

      I couldn’t agree more with you, but don’t forget all of the work done at the waiver wire as well. I’m so excited about the future

    • nkniacc13

      didn’t cubs send IFA $ to LAD in Marmol deal? Also didn’t Cubs get a PTBN or cash for gonzalez, carpenter and tanaski?

      • DarthHater

        tanaski?

  • http://odu Greenroom

    Can someone please explain to me how a guy, regardless of age, who will hit you a minimum of 25 hr and 80-95 rbi’s is only worth $7 million? I do not care how good this “A” level prospect we are getting can be, unless he is the next Verlander? I just do not get it. Jason Kubel makes $6 million a year. Thanks for the comments.

    Go Cubs~

    • Kyle

      He comes attached to a sub.-300 OBP.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Because that’s a wild oversimplification of the factors that went into the decision to trade Soriano — open up an outfield spot to try our young players, doing the right thing by Sori at the end of his year, etc.

  • RizzoCastro

    What does everyone on here think it will take to get Price away from the Rays this winter? Also what other moves do you guys think the Cubs will make this offseason?

  • Capt. USA

    I am new to commenting but it seems to me that people ripping sori do not get it, there are very few players in baseball capable of carrying a team offensively for two week periods like he could and did! Did the cubs overpay yes, did he ever earn the huge contract, no. But when he got hot he was capable of huge offensive output and it was not singularly his fault that he was not able to have a hot week in the playoffs! A good player not a great one, hope he gets a ring!

  • JulioZuleta

    SportsCenter and Joel Sherman have tweeted that there are 21 players who make $15M plus in baseball and the Yankees have 9 of them. They need a fact checker. By my count there are 42 players making $15M+

    • JulioZuleta

      And if anyone was wondering, here’s the list of players making $15M+. For everyone that clamors for the Cubs to sign big name guys to huge contracts, take a look at some of these names and ask yourself if the contract is working out…
      A-Rod, Cliff Lee, Johan Santana, Vernon Wells, CC Sabathia, Texeira, Fielder, Mauer, Lincecum, Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Greinke, Crawford, Cain, Feliz Hernandez, Cole Hamels, Kemp, Verlander, Halladay, Ryan Howard, Barry Zito, Soriano, Votto, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Josh Beckett, Derek Jeter, Jayson Werth, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Matt Holliday, Jered Weaver, Jake Peavy, Pujols, Beltre, Lackey, Danks, Hanley Ramirez, Mick Markakis, Chase Utley, Adam Dunn, Justin Morneau, Cano, Granderson.

      • JulioZuleta

        More random stuff I’m seeing on this site… Highest paid Cub (Edwin Jackson) is the 63rd highest paid player in baseball. Next highest paid Cub? Starlin Castro, 180th highest paid player in baseball. Cubs only have 1 player currently on the roster making more than $6M. Only 3 players making over $5M (and one of them is Scott Baker). At the start of the year the highest paid Cubs were 1. Soriano 2. Jackson 3. Garza 4. Marmol 5. Feldman. Five highest paid Cubs right now: 1. Jackson 3. Castro 3. Baker 4. Villanueva 5. Fujikawa. On the current active Roster, there are only 6 guys making $2M+ (Baker and Fuji are hurt obviously). Another kind of funny one: Jorge Soler is making as much money ($1M) as Travis Wood and Anthony Rizzo combined this year (disclaimer: don’t remember if Rizzo’s extension bought out the rest of this year or starts next year).
        http://data.newsday.com/long-island/data/baseball/mlb-salaries-2013/?fieldSelect-team=Chicago+Cubs&fieldSelect-position=&fieldSelect-division=&fieldSelect-league=

        I don’t really know what I’m getting at with all of that. I’m not saying the Cubs are being cheap, but it certainly looks like they’ll have lots of money to spend in the next couple years.

    • hansman1982

      ESPN is wrong about something? NEVER!

    • RizzoCastro

      I get 44 players make 15m+

    • DocShock8

      Not defending ESPN because I am not a big fan of theirs but I heard this statement before but they quantified it by saying 21 players in the AL with 9 on Yankees.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Here’s some ammo for the anti-advance stats (or anti-UZR anyway)…
    Soriano and Andre Dawson spend almost the same amount of time playing for the Cubs….170 PA separate them.
    Dawson was the better offensive player, but Soriano’s defense pushes him in front of Dawson for most fWAR in their Cubs career.

    • EQ76

      So… 15 years from now we should see another insurance commercial with Kerry Wood pulling Soriano out of the ivy!

      • Spriggs

        Maybe it will be Pierce Johnson pulling him out.

  • King Jeff

    Any word on what the roster move to replace Soriano is going to be? The bullpen is pretty taxed, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see a pitcher come up. I also heard Theo say that they wanted to clear out playing time for younger players in the OF, but I will be fairly disappointed if the guys getting most of the new-found playing time are Bogusevic and Gillespie.

    • Tobias

      I could see Arrieta being brought up with Villenueva moving back to the pen.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Corey Black? How tall was Oswalt?

    • Jp3

      Billy Wagner was like 5’10″ and threw 100mph

    • frank

      Both Oswalt and Greg Maddux are only 6 ft even, as was Juan Marichal. Pedro Martinez is 5’11 — not saying, of course, that Black will be like any of them, but it kind of shows that although some size might help, it’s not strictly necessary.

      • hansman1982

        There has not been 1 study that has shown there to be a statistical difference between pitchers who are 5′ 10″ and 6′ 6″ in terms of success or durability. Shoot, even groundball rates (since a taller pitcher creates more “downward plane-y-ness”, you think they’d get more GB) don’t even correlate.

        Just because Black is shorter than average, that doesn’t impact his ability to reach whatever ceiling his abilities have given him.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/offseason-notes-a-graph-of-pitcher-height-vs-gb/

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