CUBS SIGN SORIANO
I’ve never had a problem spending other people’s money. Have you? Jim Hendry is certainly loving it and now Alfonso Soriano will be a Cub for the next 8 years at the mere cost of $136 mill.
I don’t know what the 35-38 year old Soriano will look like, but I know that he had his best year last year. 46 HRs, 41 2Bs, 41 SBs, 67 BBs and a career high OPS of .911. The cynic in all of us screams out ‘contract year’. That could be the case. Soriano may revert to pre-2006 form. Or he may hit 55 HRs at Wrigley. We shall see.
Sweet Lou said he thinks Soriano is the best leadoff man in the game, so where he’ll hit seems settled. Whether he’ll play LF or CF is to be decided. Soriano had 22 assists from LF last year and I hope that’s where he stays. Sending out your most prized player to play a new, demanding position like CF could have some negative ramifications.
The first is that he could be a terrible center fielder. Should that be the case the Cubs suffer defensively and perhaps Soriano takes it to the plate with him. The other is that LF is considered easy to play in Wrigley and if Soriano had 22 OF assists last year, why move him?
I admit that when I heard of the move my eyes popped wide open. But this club needs some pitchers before I’m ready to hail them as NL champs for 2007.
And perhaps the wildest thing is that Hendry is not done yet. They could very well sign Gary Matthews Jr. to play CF and keep Fonzie in LF. Then Lou would have the option of batting Soriano lower in the order or bat Matthews Jr. 2nd. It could look like this:
- LF Soriano
- CF Matthews Jr.
- 1B Lee
- 3B Ramirez
- RF Jones
- 2B DeRosa
- C Barrett
- SS Izturis
- Injured pitcher
Let the good times roll. And it’s all good times–in November.