Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Should the Blue Jays Target Alfonso Soriano?

"I want to play over there...In Toronto!"
When Alfonso Soriano first started playing outfield, he was one of the best in the league offensively. He had a league average OBP, and way above average power, so, given his stats, he was a can't miss player when he hit free agency after the 2006 season. The Cubs locked him up to a 8 year deal (which almost never works) worth $133 million. He produced solid numbers until 2009(obviously not worth the amount he was being paid), but then his wheels fell off, and he had his first sub-replacement level year since his rookie season with the Yankees in 2001. He has been on and off since then, most recently on, when he had quite a decent year in 2012, hitting 32 home runs and posting an OPS of .821. Again, not worth $18 million a year like he is getting, but still, I wouldn't mind having him in my line-up at all. He has been mentioned in trade rumours for quite some time now, but he has remained with the Cubs. I want to suggest the Jays take a run for him via trade.

The 2013 left field spot is wide open right now. AA, the Blue Jays, and frankly most knowledgeable Jays fans want Anthony Gose to start in AAA Buffalo because he needs more seasoning to work on his hit tool. Free agency is actually really strong in outfielders this year but, once you take Josh Hamilton, Michael BournB.J. Upton and to a lesser extent Torii Hunter and Angel Pagan out of the equation because of how cheap Rogers is, there really aren't any options for the Jays to upgrade the LF spot. One name that intrigues me is Melky Cabrera. He is said to be looking for a 1 year deal worth a couple million,because he wants to prove he can be good without the help of PED's. A deal like that would be cost efficient, and provide the Jays with a low risk-high reward situation. But, then again, would AA involve himself with somebody who tested positive? With Toronto's fans, I don't think he would. So, the free agency market is not a good place for the Jays to find their left fielder, but Soriano in a trade could work,no?

When trying to predict what Alfonso Soriano will do in 2013, you have to look at his stats. His BABIP was .303, the same as his career average. Judging solely on that, it would seem that he would produce at roughly the same level. His LD% was 20.4%, 0.1% better than his career, showing again that his numbers should be about the same as his 2012 stats. Not only are those the same, but his fly ball rate was 4% lower in 2012 than in his career, yet he still hit 32 Home Runs. But...his HR/FB% was 2% higher than his career norm, suggesting a drop back in power production in 2013. That's not going to happen though, for two reasons. The first, his groundball percentage was almost 4% higher than it normally is for Soriano, so he will likely be hitting more fly balls(i.e more Home Runs). Secondly, if he comes to Toronto, he would get out of a pitchers park at Wrigley, and come into the hitters park known as the Rogers Centre. Not looking like such a bad idea anymore,huh? Plus, imagine what the "man in white" could do with him!

In order for a trade to occur, the Cubs would need to eat a serious amount of the $36 million still owed to him in 2013 and 2014. I'd think it would have to be around $18 million for the 2 seasons, or half. The problem is that the more the Cubs eat in salary, the more prospects AA needs to give up. He would have to choose which he would rather have, the prospects or the money, and make a trade based on that.

So, answering the question of should the Jays target Soriano, the answer is yes. Should they acquire him? Given that he projects to hit roughly the same, or even better next year(if he's at the RC), I see no reason not to. If a fair deal can be worked out, where the Cubs are paying a significant amount of the salary, I'd love to see this happen. What it would take from the Jays system to get him? I have no clue. probably Chad Jenkins and one of our high ceiling centre fielders. He does have a no trade clause(or 10-5 rights, I'm not sure), so he would have to agree to come here. Why wouldn't he want a better chance to win?

What do you think? Let me know below in the comment section, and we can continue to discuss.

You can follow me on twitter, @gideonturk. To connect with the site, Follow us on Twitter, and Like us on Facebook.


  1. I think the he is a solution to the Jays oufield problem and a better tha average bat that the Jays need depending of course on the cost and what Rodgers is willing to give up.

  2. I see this as a better option for the Jays going foward, then some of the other suggestions I have read, A two year deal with a 3rd year option would be best. He would fill two of the voids the Jays have, left field and # 6 or 7 in the batting order.