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.
Soriano is projected to play 3.5 more years hitting .247 with 22 HR and 69 RBI per season.
Those numbers compared against everyday DH hitters in the AL for 2011 ranks Soriano virtually dead-last in batting average…but 2nd in HR behind David Ortiz and 5th in RBI behind Michael Young, Ortiz, Matt Joyce & Hideki Matsui.
That doesn’t suggest Soriano is worth $18M per year, but with the Cubs footing most of the bill, it would appear Alfonso could be a serviceable, and affordable, DH for the next few season, if healthy of course.
The more I look at Soriano’s projected numbers, the more I believe Chicago will have a chance to deal him this offseason.
To the best of our knowledge, Alfonso is fully healthy, open to being traded, and potentially holds some value for an AL club in need of a little added pop in the lineup.
You wouldn’t expect the Cubs to get much, if anything, in return for Soriano. But the real value is moving Sori off the roster and opening up playing time for younger outfielders.
Trading Sori may not happen as soon as we would prefer. But with spring training approaching and the likelihood of spring injuries on the horizon, there’s certain to be an AL GM willing to take the risk on the Cubs’ sweet deal for Soriano. Stay tuned…