Baseball Toaster Cub Town
2006-11-19 12:50
by Derek Smart

I've got nothing beyond that at the moment for the reported 8-year, $136M deal Alfonso Soriano just signed with the Cubs. If nothing else, Jim Hendry is working spending like hell to keep his job.

I need time to digest this, and once I have you can bet I'll have more to say, but in the meantime, I leave it to you all to have at it.

2006-11-19 13:16:37
1.   alex 7
When Soriano loses some speed at age 33 or 34, won't he become Moises Alou?
2006-11-19 13:22:06
2.   regfairfield
No, Moises Alou can walk occassionally.
2006-11-19 13:26:50
3.   das411
So Soriano will become...Pat Burrell?
2006-11-19 13:27:32
4.   Sandus
Awful. Just awful.
2006-11-19 13:49:07
5.   uburoisc
Bad move; his age is disputable, and he has no, I mean no plate discipline. 160 SO last year (at least his BB were up). I will eat my hat if he ever hits playoff pitching consistantly (he get lucky from time to time and hits one 6" off the plate). A guy worth having, but not at that price.
2006-11-19 13:53:43
6.   Wrigleyviller
So Soriano is an incredibly overrated outfielder coming off a career year. He can steal bases occasionally, but not all that well. He can't play defense. He doesn't ever walk. His bat isn't worth all that much in a corner spot, and he'll be a disaster in center. He's already 30, and his entire bat speed/good wheels offensive profile projects to only decrease in value, starting very possibly this year.

This should go great.

So first, someone like Carlos Beltran, who actually deserves this kind of money, doesn't get a competetive offer from the Cubs. Then Soriano, a vastly inferior player, does. I'll put down money that 4 years from now, the next time a truly fantastic player worth superstar money comes onto the market, whoever owns the Cubs will be using the Soriano contract as an excuse for not being able to afford him/cautionary tale for not going after big free agents.

2006-11-19 15:11:27
7.   aqc
"I will eat my hat if he ever hits playoff pitching consistantly" --uburoisc

Playoff pitching like Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver?

"His bat isn't worth all that much in a corner spot, and he'll be a disaster in center." --Wrigleyviller

First of all his bat is worthy of a corner outfield spot. 40 HRs not good enough for you? Unbelievable. Second, he can probably play center just fine. He certainly handled left field well enough and he's quick.

What the hell are you people talking about? This Beltran talk is ridiculous. You're saying because we messed up two years ago we shouldn't try to get the best bat on the market this year? What do you people want? I don't get it.

The Cubs finally get the guy everyone wants and you people are upset! The Cubs are spendin', so be happy. Yeah, Soraino's not perfect. He's not Pujols, A-Rod, Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, etc.; however, he's a premium bat and helps this team immensely.

2006-11-19 15:14:58
8.   cubsrule2007
pujols compared to soriaon yeah not like pujols but he atleast can play good defence and thats what the cubs needed
2006-11-19 15:47:01
9.   uburoisc
In 7 post season series, Soriano hit .233 with 8 walks and 45 strikeouts in 146 AB's. Against good pitching (or pitchers who pitch at a higher level come playoff time), Soriano will fold. Replay the Boston series or the Florida series, the last 2 playoff series Soriano was in; he was an absolute bust; he'd have swung at an airplane if it had dropped under 10,000 ft. He's not worth 17 mil a year and not for 8 years. I didn't watch him play OF much last year, but he was well below average defensively at 2b.
2006-11-19 16:18:21
10.   Voxter
Eight years? EIGHT years? I can understand blowing a lot of money on Soriano, especially the way the free agent market is going this year, but if this is for real Soriano's going to be a glorified fourth outfielder well before this deal is over with. When his OBP starts dipping below .300 in about four years, this is going to look monumentally stupid.
2006-11-19 16:31:04
11.   chicagoburke
Why worry about 4 years from now when his production will be down and focus on the next 3 when he will provide a 3rd legit power hitter in the lineup. Who would you rather have at the plate w/ risp or bottom of the 9th...I'll take my chances with AS in the Central...too long, too much yeah but hell...we HAD to get better and we did.
2006-11-19 16:44:41
12.   Voxter
Who would you rather have at the plate w/ risp or bottom of the 9th

Not that I believe this question to be particularly relevant (how many times does this situation actually arise?), but I'll provide you with an abbreviated list:

Albert Pujols
Scott Rolen
Lance Berkman
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley
Jason Bay
Almost the entire lineup of the New York Mets
Miguel Cabrera
Brian McCann
Barry Bonds
Moises Alou
JD Drew

That's an abbreviated list, made up entirely of National Leaguers who don't already play for the Cubs.

Anyway, if you don't want to worry about four years from now (which you should, because the Cubs aren't going anywhere particularly soon), how about the fact that it is extremely unlikely that he will ever be as good again as he was last season? What happens if he reverts to the level at which he played in Texas? A $17 million sink-hole. An untradeable, $17 million sink-hole. That would be one thing if this were a three, four or even five year contract. With an eight year contract, that's a not going to go away.

I just don't like this deal at all. Even if he has established a new level of play (about which I'm dubious), this makes the Cubs, what? Four, five wins better? In other words, an 81, 82-win team (and that's assuming that Lee comes back healthy and at least a few of the pitchers remain healthy)? Despite what happened with the Cardinals this year, I doubt that's going to be enough to win this division next year. It's not particularly meaningful in the short run, and it's terrible in the long run. That's a bad deal.

2006-11-19 17:03:09
13.   dianagramr
136 Million could have brought you five years each of Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito.

Hmmmm ....

2006-11-19 17:14:41
14.   Sandus
I think before everybody blows this out of proportion, maybe we should wait until the specs of the deal are made public. There might be some sort of vesting option after six years, or an Aramis Ramirez-type opt-out clause (which would be amazing).

When we see the final deal, then we can speculate about the length.

2006-11-19 17:52:36
15.   Yu-Hsing Chen
7 I would be ok with this deal if it was say... 4/68 (half of the time and same money) but unless the market inflation continues at a very fast pace that makes 17M seems like 8-9M last yaer 7 to 8 years from now he would be a super albatross after 5 years max.

People are forgetting that yes he hit 40 in a pitchers park, but he also started his career in a neutural park (Yankees) batting infront of a monster lineup, and then moved to a super hitter's park (Texas) and sucked overall. there is a lot of question marks on Soriano.

2006-11-19 19:00:29
16.   ad7062
I am thrilled about the addition of Soriano to the Cubs. As to the cost and number of years, I don't care. If I have to pay out as much money as I do to attend games at Wrigley, if I have to accept the upswing in advertising at Wrigley Field, if I have to accept the nonstop shilling for all the network in-game advertising for its programs, the Cubs damn well better spend big bucks for the best ballplayers availabe . . . which really brings me to my point. For an everyday player, who is the best player on the free agent market this year? It's Soriano, hands down. We should be ecstatic about this acquisition. The Cubs have questionable pitching, but they might be able to outhit people this year.
2006-11-19 20:29:01
17.   Schteeve
I'm a Yankee fan living in Chicago, so for whatever that's worth, here's my take. I loved Sori when he played for the Yankees way more than I should have, because there's something exciting about watching him play. He seems like he's better than he is. He will not help the Cubs be competitive, and this contract seems ridiculous, but in addition to Derek Lee, he'll be the most exciting thing at Wrigley next season.
2006-11-19 21:16:46
18.   seen1969
Ok, everyone calm done, Hendry has filled gaps, and he should sign Juan Pierre again for center, with Sori, we will have the fastest outfield and base running threats in the league. Homers are the gravy, speed kills and wins games! Now Big Jim needs to decide on a pitching rotation, and everyone will be amazed in April! Again -pitching and defense ( speed) wins games; hitting consistent is essential ; give me a line up of .300 hitters, and homers are flashy ( and we will get our share)! But fans must hold magagement to their commitment; the PLAN to win a World Series ( yes, they have started a good plan, and might do more; let's give them the benefit of the doubt! We have to say, they have made some changes!)
2006-11-19 21:27:27
19.   rynox
Chill out you guys. In the year 2011 $17 mil/year will seem cheap.

And I feel bad for poor Hendry; Don't sign the guy and you're a big failure... pay what it takes to get him and the contract is too expensive.

Blah... let's go Cubs!

2006-11-19 22:12:42
20.   Xeifrank
>> speed kills and wins games!

Not baseball games. Maybe track and field games. vr, Xei

2006-11-19 22:32:09
21.   rbs10025
If management is throwing around money like a sailor on leave (not just Soriano, but Aramis, etc.), does it have anything to do with the possibility that the Tribune Co. will be sold soon?
2006-11-19 22:36:22
22.   Bob Timmermann
That's Murray Chass's speculation in the NY Times.
2006-11-20 06:51:40
23.   BALCO Lab Rats
Why do you worry about Soriano hitting well against playoff pitching? The Cubs won't even make the playoffs!
2006-11-20 09:48:36
24.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Very good short term deal, imo, but I'm worried about him when he starts to slow down, or, god forbid, reveals that he's actually 35.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.