Theo Epstein says he won’t ‘give away’ Alfonso Soriano this week via trade.
But the more I think about it, ‘settling’ on an offer for Sori during the Winter Meetings might be the best option for Chicago.
Soriano turns 37 in January. His trade value will likely never be higher than what it is now coming off his productive season in 2012.
If the Cubs wait to deal Soriano there’s the risk he gets off to a slow start in 2013 or worse, gets injured. Then what do you get for him?
His full no-trade clause could also make it tougher to deal him next July, as was the case this past year, which only increases the risk of hanging on to him.
Perhaps the biggest trouble is replacing Soriano’s offensive production (32 HR, 108 RBI, 121 OPS+).
The Cubs finished 28/30 in runs scored last season with only a few signs indicating the offense could be slightly better next season.
However, if the Cubs land a quality center fielder this week the offensive outlook changes. Another legit hitting outfielders alongside Soriano could survive with a rotating platoon in right field.
It may take the Cubs figuring out what they’re going to do in center field before determining what to do about Soriano in left.
But if I’m the Cubs I’d pull the trigger on the best offer for Soriano in Nashville. He needs to be replaced eventually and it’s hard to imagine the offers for him are any better following the Winter Meetings.
I don’t want to see the Cubs ‘give away’ Soriano, either. But I would like to see something of value in return for him, too.