The Chicago Cubs have made no secret of their intentions to rebuild the organization from the ground up. Trade rumors have swirled around nearly every Cubs veteran over the past year. The latest rumors are centering on left fielder Alfonso Soriano who had a resurgent 2012 season. Soriano is owed $36 million over the final two years of his contract. Here are the most likely trade destinations for Soriano.
The power-starved Astros are making the move to the American League in 2013. Soriano could serve as the designated hitter and middle of the lineup power source for the Astros for the remaining two years of his deal. A move to the American League would allow the defensively challenged Soriano to reduce the wear and tear on his oft-injured legs. Pitcher Bud Norris could interest the Cubs.
Baltimore is seeking a right-handed power hitter to hit between Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. After losing Mark Reynolds to free agency, and apparently showing no interest in Kevin Youkilis, the Orioles could view Soriano as a viable solution. As with Houston Soriano would likely DH exclusively in Baltimore as the Orioles recently re-signed left fielder Nate McLouth. Baltimore has an abundance of young pitching that could entice the Cubs to eat a large portion of Soriano’s remaining contract.
The Phillies could use a right-handed hitter to even out a lineup that is heavy on lefty swingers. Soriano could provide lineup protection for first baseman Ryan Howard in Philadelphia. The Cubs and Phillies have reportedly discussed swapping Soriano and outfielder Dominic Brown. A Soriano/Brown trade would make sense for both teams as the Phils would get the veteran slugger they desire and the Cubs could give the 25-year old Brown the chance to play every day in left field.
The Mariners have been offensively challenged for years. They apparently toyed with the idea of signing Josh Hamilton before the free agent slugger agreed to terms with the Angels. The Mariners have had trouble attracting free agent hitters to the spacious Safeco Field. Seattle is loaded with young pitching and could be intrigued by the prospect of acquiring Soriano to serve as designated hitter.
*Information gathered from http://www.baseball-reference.com.
Dan Soderberg is an avid Cubs fan and hopes to one day retire to the Wrigley Field bleachers. You can read some of Dan’s other work at http://dadstimeout.tumblr.com/ Follow Dan on Twitter.