RedEye

Position analysis: Soriano retains value

Before the final game of the season, Alfonso Soriano said he's ready for the trade rumors to start this winter.

The next day, Cubs President Theo Epstein said he doesn't believe people "get an accurate picture of (Soriano) watching him across the field," lauding his work ethic and quiet leadership in the clubhouse.

"We're happy that he's here," Epstein said. "I think he makes us a better organization."

So should we expect Soriano to be on the trade block again, or has the new regime come to believe Soriano can be part of the organization in the early stages of the rebuilding mode?

It probably depends on how much interest there is in Soriano, who led the team in home runs and RBIs while making great strides in his defensive play in left field.

The best chance of dealing Soriano is if an American League team wants to use him as a DH, though the Giants were interested at the trade deadline until Soriano declined to waive his no-trade rights, killing any chance of a deal.

"If teams pursue him in a trade, we'll consider it," Epstein said. "We'll see if it makes our future better, makes us a better organization going forward. But he's got value to us. He helps us win games, is protection in the lineup, and he's a great example for other younger players in the clubhouse to follow. So if we trade him, we're losing something, so we have to get something back in return to justify it.

"If that opportunity comes along and (a team) is very serious about acquiring him, then we'll go to him because he has 10-5 rights."

It's easy to see Soriano as a DH because of his age (37) and his limited range in left field. But it's not easy for Soriano to see it, and he can block any move for any reason. He likes to be involved in the game, even if he's not the greatest outfielder. Soriano performed well as a DH this year but said that's irrelevant.

"People see that, but they don't (consider) it was only six-eight games I batted DH," he said. "I don't know what I could do the whole season. To me, playing DH is boring. You only play like half (the game). I always play defense and offense, so I'd always have to work hard on my mind – 'Now I'm an offense guy only."

Soriano has been though a lot in his six years in Chicago, from the division championships of 2007 and '08 to the 101-loss season this year. Through it all, he's been the most accommodating player in the clubhouse, never refusing an interview request or blowing off the media.

"I just come from New York and I saw how those veterans guys -- (Derek) Jeter, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez -- handled it. I just love those guys. This game is up and down all the time, and I don't want to like tiptoe around the media just when I'm doing good. When I'm doing bad, it's the same."

The Cubs could use more players like Soriano in the clubhouse, though it would make sense to trade him now while his value is relatively high.

psullivan@tribune.com

Twitter @PWSullivan

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Yep, I took my dad to Lollapalooza

    I suppose I should be old enough to know by now that something doesn't become un-cool just because your parent is there.

  • Lollapalooza style portraits

    Lollapalooza style portraits

    Concertgoers pose at the three-day fest in Grant Park.

  • Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    And just like that, there’s only one day left of Lolla. Here’s what stood out to us from day 2. Best: The Tallest Man on Earth: Maybe it was just a right-mood, right-set situation, but boy this was the perfect mid-day act to take a breather, sit in the sun, and just chill and listen to and enjoy....

  • 50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    Shots in The Dark at Parliament Nightclub with 50 Cent and The Underground Nightclub with Wyclef Jean and Joey Fatone July 31st

  • Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    One day down! Here’s the best and worst we saw at Lolla on Friday, plus a few superlatives from day 1. Best: Anyone who knows me knows I was bound to pick Paul McCartney as my favorite act of the day. The Beatle came out and gave it his all with more than two hours of hits, tributes and jokes about...

  • Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    What can you really say about Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, pop music pioneer, worldwide cultural icon, and all-around great guy, that hasn't already been said? I mean, seriously. With the Beatles changing music for the better, becoming a pop culture institution and being "more popular...

Comments
Loading
69°