Lukewarm Stove: Soriano, Garza, Archer, Pitchers, ARod

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Lukewarm Stove: Soriano, Garza, Archer, Pitchers, ARod

Chicago Cubs

We’re halfway through the LCS period, and the offseason kicks off in earnest just after the World Series. So, it’s coming …

  • Paul Sullivan interviewed Alfonso Soriano earlier this week, and the outfielder reiterated his desire to remain that: an outfielder. “People see [my success at DH last year], but they don’t [consider] it was only six-eight games I batted DH,” he said. “I don’t know what I could do the whole season. To me, playing DH is boring. You only play like half [the game]. I always play defense and offense, so I’d always have to work hard on my mind – ‘Now I’m an offense guy only.'” So, does this mean Soriano would unequivocally turn down a trade to an AL team looking for a DH? Eh. I mean, maybe; but most players, even those in the twilight of their career, resist becoming a full-time DH. They always say things like this (and, in Soriano’s case, remember when he said he wouldn’t move off of second base?). Further, Soriano is coming off a solid season defensively, so maybe this isn’t even an issue? Maybe Soriano wouldn’t be asked to be a full-time DH anywhere (half-time, perhaps?), and maybe he’d be open to DH’ing from time to time.
  • Phil Rogers says Matt Garza is going to be shopped as soon as he’s healthy, though I’d imagine that’s more in the way of educated speculation, rather than something Rogers has heard (at least in the last week). The story with Garza remains the same: no team is going to make the kind of offer the Cubs will be willing to accept until he pitches, which will come in Spring Training at the earliest. Rogers contorts the discussion into one about Alfonso Soriano going to the Rays for Chris Archer, which is simply not going to happen.
  • Bruce Levine chatted this week, and offered his thoughts … (1) Trading Alfonso Soriano for Alex Rodriguez (contracts, straight-up) would be foolish; (2) notwithstanding his quotes in the Tribune article above, Bruce says Soriano “would be happy to cooperate with a trade for the first time” this offseason; (3) power will come eventually for Josh Vitters; (4) Bruce lists a number of pitchers in whom the Cubs might have interest this Winter: Shaun Marcum, Joe Blanton, Jeff Francis, Francisco Liriano, Brandon McCarthy, and Daisuke Matsuzaka; (5) the names at third base on the free agent market, as we know, are ugly; (6) the expectation right now is that Matt Garza will start 2013 with the Cubs; (7) if the Cubs deal Soriano, they might consider Melky Cabrera on a short-term deal (I could be mis-remembering, but I’m fairly certain Bruce said in a recent chat that the Cubs would not consider Cabrera – wonder if he heard something in the interim); and (8) Jeff Keppinger would make for a nice utility player for the Cubs, but that’s true of pretty much every team.
  • MLBTR offers a 10,000-foot view of the Cubs’ offseason outlook. Nothing terribly new, but it’s always helpful to get an outside perspective.
  • If you think all of those minor league free agent signings you hear about are worthless, take a look at Baseball America’s list of the most impactful minor league free agent signings from 2012. Superstars? No. Useful pieces on competitive teams? Absolutely. Then again, seemingly no team took on more cast-offs than the Cubs last year, and few, if any, worked out terribly well. Better luck next year?
  • Before you ask: Sure, the Cubs might have interest in Alex Rodriguez … if the Yankees made him a $2 million per year player by eating almost all of his contract. But that’s true of virtually every team in baseball. And, for ARod’s part, why would he accept a trade to the Cubs? He wouldn’t. In other words, it’s a non-starter.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.