The Chicago Cubs have indicated that they would like to move left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Soriano says that he would be willing to waive his full no trade clause to make that happen if the Cubs are not contending in 2013. Soriano submitted a list of six or seven teams including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies. If I had to guess at the two teams not included I would guess the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants, for real this time, but again those are just guesses. Soriano is signed through the 2014 season and has $36 million remaining, $18 million in each of 2013 and 2014, on the deal and if I had to guess I would say the Cubs would probably be willing to eat some of that in order to move him. If the Cubs asking price was not astronomical should the Yankees be interested in a potential Soriano trade?
Soriano is a left fielder and the Yankees are generally looking for a right fielder but with the Yankees speed of Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, or Ichiro Suzuki I guess depending on how the outfield is set up that day, I think they could afford to cheat a little with those guys and could hide Soriano's defensive liabilities. It is worth mentioning though that Soriano did only have one error in over 200 chances last year, which is by far his career low, so maybe he is turning the corner defensively. Soriano seems to also fit the Yankees need for a right handed power hitting outfielder and is an immediate upgrade over both Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera respectively. The money should not be an issue because in December when Soriano was part of trade rumors the Cubs were reportedly willing to eat up to $26 million of the $36 million owed if the "right prospects" were involved in the deal. While I do not think we would, or should, give up any of our upper guys like Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, or Slade Heathcott I think a deal revolving around a Brett Marshall could get it done. The Yankees need a platoon partner for both Travis Hafner and Ichiro Suzuki, both left handed players, and Soriano could fill both needs in one player splitting time between the designated hitter position and right field. The biggest downfall, which is a common occurrence in the Yankees club house, is that Soriano will be entering his age 37 season and will be under contract through his age 38 season as well which is not a welcomed sight to many.
Let's look at Soriano's splits against left handed pitching. Soriano had a triple slash of .260/.342/..489 in 66 games in 2012 which is surprisingly, yet negligibly, lower than his right handed pitching splits. Soriano was a 1.8 WAR player last year which is no way near worth $18 million but for around $5 million and not giving up any blue chip prospects I would consider Soriano an absolute steal if we can get him for a reasonable prospect package. Here is my proposed package for Alfonso Soriano assuming that the Yankees would only be on the hook for $5 million for each of 2013 and 2014.
Cubs Get :
SP Brett Marshall
C JR Murphy
1B Greg Bird
$26 Million in Cash