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Alfonso Soriano turns 36-years-old on January 7.
That’s far too old for the rebuilding Cubs, not to mention, his lengthy history of injuries, poor fielding and ungodly $18M per year contract.
It’s no wonder the offseason outlook to trade him remains bleak, despite the fact the Cubs are reportedly willing to eat an unsightly $40M remaining on his $54M contract.
That said, Soriano does appear to hold some value as a DH in the American League, at least according to Bill James’ Career Assessment calculator.
Here’s what I uncovered after plugging Soriano’s numbers into James’ formula to project final career totals for players.
Here’s my ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Hall of Fame voting. We’re allowed to cast up to 10 votes.
YES VOTES: (alphabetical order)
The addition of RHP Andy Sonnanstine shows us Theo Epstein has a complete lack of faith in the Cubs current pitching prospects or an unbelievable amount of faith in new Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio.
Outside a decent (13-9) season in 2008 for Sonnanstine, the 28-year-old Ohio native has struggled through most of his five year career with Tampa Bay, of which Epstein witnessed first hand in Boston.
Now he’s the latest project of Epstein’s methodical approach to piecing together the Cubs pitching staff with lower-risk offseason moves through trades and free agency.
As the Cubs discovered last year, you can never have enough pitching depth, which immediately hampered the team when both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner suffered lengthy arm injuries during the season’s first week.
New Cubs pitching coach, Chris Bosio, has his work cut out for him in 2012.
Not only did Chicago post an NL-worst 4.79 starters ERA in 2011, but Carlos Marmol fizzled out in the closer’s role blowing 10 games, and the staff’s most reliable reliever, Sean Marshall, was dealt to Cincinnati earlier this week.
Additionally, there’s the enigma of Randy Wells who’s been consistently inconsistent, Jeff Samardzija’s transition back to a starter’s role, the development of the newly acquired Travis Wood, and last but not least, the Zambrano situation.
That’s a lot of wood to chop in a single offseason.
I think most Cubs fans are bristling with the news Sean Marshall is headed to the Reds for the young left-hander Travis Wood and future prospects.
Trading away your most reliable bullpen arm, to a division rival no less, seems unthinkable. But that’s the tough part in analyzing an offseason trade such as this one.
Marshall, unquestionably, makes the Reds a favorite to win the division next season. Wood, on the other hand, is far less likely to make that kind of immediate impact for Chicago.
Human nature tends to want a clear-cut winner of the trade from the get-go. But this swap of left-handers won’t be fairly decided any time soon.
Perhaps, we’re about to see Theo Epstein begin rebuilding the Cubs the way I thought he would at the Winter Meetings.
That process being through trades of some of the Cubs most valuable players in return for young, inexpensive and major league ready prospects.
At least, that would better explain the rumored reports the Cubs are shopping Sean Marshall for Travis Wood.
If, in fact, the reports are true, it tells us two things.
Projected pitching staff with current roster.
-Matt Garza RHP
-Ryan Dempster RHP
Carlos Zambrano RHP (updated Thursday January 5th)
-Chris Volstad RHP
-Randy Wells RHP
*Jeff Samardzija RHP
-Andrew Cashner RHP
-Chris Carpenter RHP
-Marcus Mateo RHP
LEFT HANDED RELIEF:
-James Russell LHP
-Sean Marshall LHP
-Carlos Marmol RHP
ON THE BUBBLE:
*Casey Coleman RHP
*Rodrigo Lopez RHP
*John Gaub LHP
*Scott Maine LHP