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
  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...

Comments
Loading
74°