NL Central Rumors: Lee, Soriano, Cardinals, Brewers

The latest on several NL Central teams…

  • The Reds are talking about a lot of trade possibilities and talking about a whole range of players, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  It is a possibility the Reds use Yonder Alonso as a trade piece to fix other needs, manager Dusty Baker told Jim Bowden on MLB Netowrk Radio.  Baker indicated the Reds will keep prospects Yasmani Grandal and Devin Mesoraco, as well as star first baseman Joey Votto.
  • The Reds outrighted lefty Jeremy Horst, dropping their 40-man roster count to 39, according toMLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Astros are letting teams know Carlos Lee is out there.  Lee, 35, is owed $18.5MM for 2012 and has ten-and-five rights.  A source close to the Astros' ownership tells Stark interim GM David Gottfried has autonomy to make trades this week.
  • Speaking of mistakes from the 2006-07 offseason, the Cubs are getting a bit of interest in left fielder Alfonso Soriano, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Soriano, 35, is owed $54MM through 2014 and has a full no-trade clause.  I think the Cubs would have to eat over $40MM to move Soriano.
  • World Series revenue is not a game-changer for the Cardinals, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the team's payroll is expected to remain around $110MM.  The Cardinals have about $80MM committed to eight players under contract for 2012.
  • The Brewers are in on everyone at several positions, including shortstop and third base, but are not down the road at all on any of them, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  The Brewers are also known to be actively seeking relief help.


62 Responses to NL Central Rumors: Lee, Soriano, Cardinals, Brewers Leave a Reply

  1. Triple Hawpes Brewed 4 years ago

    We’ll take him if you pick up $45 million.

    – The Braves

  2. JLBCUBS 4 years ago

    If some one wants him the Cubs should do anything they have to to get rid of Soriano .

    • hartvig 4 years ago

      While it’s true that he’s insanely overpaid for the level at which he is producing at least he is producing at a slightly above major league average level with the bat. Yes he hurts you with the glove and yes it’s not at the offensive level you would like to see out of your second easiest defensive position but it’s not a total black hole either. My guess is that the Giants would trade Barry Zito or the White Sox Adam Dunn and their mid$40MM dollar contracts even up for Soriano and figure they got the better end of the deal. I would doubt that even if they’re willing to eat $40MM that they would the Cubs get much more than a mid-level prospect in return.

      • Mikey Roederer 4 years ago

        I would do Soriano for Dunn in a heart beat….

  3. Its funny to think that the Cubs thought when they signed him that after 2011, Soriano would be worth a 3/54 at this time. Yikes. Dem back-ended deals will kill ya…

  4. Magorphenger 4 years ago

    This is the, “Please don’t let my team be the team showing ‘a bit of interest'” Sweepstakes….

  5. Soriano isn’t THAT bad guys. The contract is horrible but if the team getting him is paying him 14 million over the next 3 years then that is a pretty damn good deal.

    • bobbybaseball 4 years ago

      What? He strikes out all the time, doesn’t get on base and plays a horrible left field? But other than that, he’s great.

    • not_brooks 4 years ago

      $4.6MM per for the 36, 37 and 38-year-old seasons of a guy who has averaged a .248/.305/.463 line over the past three years?

      I don’t know. Most teams could probably find a AAA guy to put up those numbers for a fraction of the cost.

  6. ScottieT 4 years ago

    Even if the Cubs pay upwards of $40 million, what could they get in return. A low level prospect or two.

    • imachainsaw 4 years ago

      that’s what a salary dump is

      • stewie75 4 years ago

        i believe a salary dump is dumping the salary, no? paying 80% of his salary and getting almost nothing in return doesn’t really seem like a dumpage of salary.

        • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

          That 20% could pay for something else, so its still dumping salary.

          In the end, the more salary the cubs eat, the better prospect they get.

  7. Wrek305 4 years ago

    How about they give him a check for 54 mil and release him no one wants him.

    • sourbob 4 years ago

      I dunno… look at what Juan Rivera got. And Soriano is as good as Rivera’s agent pretended Rivera is.

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        It doesn’t matter at this point the Cubs are nowhere near a good team, the last time they were good was 2008 and Hendry made a complete overhaul after winning 97 games. They don’t have character either. It’s a good thing Ramirez is going elsewhere he’s not even worth 16 mil over 4 yrs let alone per year.

        • Ry.the_Stunner 4 years ago

          Because 2008 was SOOO long ago, right?

        • sourbob 4 years ago

          You understand that we’re talking about Soriano’s trade value, right? And that nothing you said has anything to do with that, right?

        • Kayrall 4 years ago

          Overhaul =/= trading DeRosa

          • That was a good move.  DeRosa has been hurt 80% of the time since his trade from the Cubs.

          • Wrek305 4 years ago

            They finished in 4th place. It was also the better player in Jake Fox who was traded, and signed one of the worst player ever in the ML Aaron Miles. Fox could and can play 1st, 3rd, Catcher, LF and RF and he was better then anyone the Cubs had at the time.

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        It doesn’t matter at this point the Cubs are nowhere near a good team, the last time they were good was 2008 and Hendry made a complete overhaul after winning 97 games. They don’t have character either. It’s a good thing Ramirez is going elsewhere he’s not even worth 16 mil over 4 yrs let alone per year.

    • sourbob 4 years ago

      I dunno… look at what Juan Rivera got. And Soriano is as good as Rivera’s agent pretended Rivera is.

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Obviously a team has interest. Who cares what they get in return. If they can free up 5MM a year to allocate towards the rotation, that’s a big win. Just releasing him is a huge mistake.

      • Mikey Roederer 4 years ago

        I have to agree Blue..Just flat out releasing Soriano is a serious mistake. Is he worth the contract? NO, Is his defense a liability? YES…but is he worth cutting? Hell no.. If somebody was getting his production out of a 5 or 6M corner outfielder they would be perfectly happy with it..

        • Yankees420 4 years ago

          I don’t think a lot of teams would be “perfectly happy” paying 5-6MM for a terrible fielding LF that puts up sub .300 OBP, a wRC+ of 99, and strikes out 20% of the time. 

          • Maybe not, but a team would be willing to take the Ks in exchange for a DH with some power (ala Vlad).

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Obviously a team has interest. Who cares what they get in return. If they can free up 5MM a year to allocate towards the rotation, that’s a big win. Just releasing him is a huge mistake.

  8. We will trade Soriano for bats and balls….seriously….maybe even just bats….

  9. ScottieT 4 years ago

    Without, soriano, aramis, and pena…this team will have absolutely no power. I guess Soto will bat cleanup.

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Good thing it’s December 5th and not April 5th.

      • Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

        Agreed. Makes you wonder who will be batting in the middle of the order though… 

        *crosses fingers* “Not Fielder! Not Fielder! Not Fielder!”

  10. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    I’m sure a AL team will take Carlos Lee to DH, provided the Astros pay most of his contract that’s left and per diem for his food.

    • Unfortunately most, if not all, AL teams are reportedly on his no-trade list.  He’s okay (not great) defensively at first base, though.

      • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

        As a 10/5 player, the no-trade list doesn’t matter.  He has protection from all teams, AL and NL.

        If he wants to compete, he’ll waive.

  11. lefty177 4 years ago

    everybody on here is talking about Soriano, i’m looking at where the Cards owner says that they have $80 million in 8 players & their payroll will be around where it was last year at $110 million, think about that, 110-80=30, that’s how much Pujols wants, that’s $110 million for 9 players? That scare anyone else that Pujols may not come back after all?

    • bobbybaseball 4 years ago

      Signing Pujols to a 9-year contract is even scarier…

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      First, Pujols may want $30 mil, but I doubt he gets it.  Cards offered $22 per year, and may go as high as $24, but not likely any higher.

      Second, any deal the Cardinals sign with Pujols will likely either be backloaded or have a significant portion deferred.  Look at Holliday’s deal.  He makes $17 mil, but only $15 mil is paid this year.

      It is also possible that the Cardinals attempt to unload some salary (i.e. Westbrook or Lohse), or get players to defer a portion of their salaries for those currently under contract (as Holliday offered to do last offseason).

      Aside from Pujols, the Cardinals do not necessarily need to sign any free agents this offseason, which can keep costs low.  They have expressed a willingness to enter the season with minor leaguer Tyler Greene at shortstop (a mistake, IMO, but possible), and can use Daniel Descalso at 2nd base if they can’t convert Allen Craig.  Using cheap talent developed through the minor leagues is what allows good teams to resign top talent that would otherwise break the bank.

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      The team is pretty set besides the Albert contract.  If they could re-sign Albert they could go into next season the day after and the roster would be fine.

  12. Paul Shailor 4 years ago

    lackey for soriano, straight up.

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      Theo Epstein would never fall for that… ummm… nevermind.

  13. Kayrall 4 years ago

    No thanks

  14. Patrick the Pragmatist 4 years ago

    Oh he still contributes enough for some team to take him in exchange for another bad contract and/or the Cubs eating a lot of the salary.

    But that is about it. 

    Are we allowed to dream here?

    Somebody take Chone Figgins please!!!

    • mmmason23 4 years ago

      To me this is the most likely scenario. Soriano and cash for fig gins. Seattle needs some pop, cubs a 3b.

  15. cachhubguy 4 years ago

    KW could never risk Dunn turning it around on the northside. That’s why there are very few trades between the Cubs and Sox. Any mistake would be highlighted daily.

  16. Melkor7 4 years ago

    Can someone help me out here…

    Let’s say (just for the sake of it) Chicago picks up 40M and trades Alfonso to (whoever)… how does that impact the cap of the recieving team?

    • slasher016 4 years ago

      The only “cap” is the luxury tax threshold and only the Yankees and maybe the Phillies are in range of that.

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      What cap?  Each team decides on its own how much payroll it wants to carry.  There is no salary cap in baseball.

      The Cubs and the {insert team name here} would come to some sort of agreement as to how much of Soriano’s future salaries would be paid by each team. 

      The more the Cubs pay, the more valuable Soriano is to the {insert team name here}.  If the Cubs pick up enough salary, they may get a decent prospect in return.

    • Melkor7 4 years ago

      Poorly worded, very sorry… I’ll try again…

      Let’s say then its the Cubs and Yankees… and the Cubs pick up 40M… leaving 14M over 3 years… what is the Yankees payroll, an extra 14M or the whole 54M? (again, over 3 years)

      The question being, when deals like this get done, does merely the salary actually paid by the new team get counted against their total payroll, or is it what remains of the original contract?

      • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

        For luxury tax purposes, I think the Yankees would get the entire contract.

        For payroll purposes (i.e. mlbtraderumors reporting a team’s guaranteed payroll), the $40 mil would be counted against the Cubs.

        For an example, look at the Mets payroll this year.  IIRC, it includes $1 million paid to Bobby Bonilla, which is deferred from forever ago.

  17. I just want to know what was Jim Hendry thinking when he gave that deal to Soriano. Like ”Here Alfonso, here is a slice of Chicago’s finest deep dish pizza and also were gonna pay you 18 mil the last 4 years of your contract.”

    Soriano’s face 😀

  18. scott brecht 4 years ago

    If the Cubs have to throw in any more than $35 mil on the deal, it isn’t worth it.  When you look at how much a player would cost to replace him.  good luck trying to find a player that can hit 26 home runs and 88 rbi for less than $5 mil.  

    • jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

      Depends on your focus.  If you want to win in the next three years (not likely), you keep Soriano unless you can find a replacement at the same money, as you described.  If you want to win later, you have to eat more salary in order to get prospects in return.

      Ask yourself honestly – How likely is it that the Cubs make the playoffs in the next three years?  If you honestly feel that with the current team, current payroll situation, and current prospects, that the Cubs are going to be competitive, then you are correct.  If you think it is going to take Theo Epstein a few years to rebuild the organization, then you should be willing to eat a vast majority of Soriano’s contract, if that’s what it takes to get good propects in return.

      • imachainsaw 4 years ago

        if they can get rid of soriano, they have room to either give B-Jax a spot in the OF, or give Tyler Colvin another shot to redeem himself since he’s still young and if he rediscovers his stroke, can offer soriano type production at a fraction of the cost. or both if they relegate byrd to the bench, which is where he belongs at this stage. the worst thing that would happen in that scenario is finding out that Tyler Colvin is officially a bust.

  19. Gunner65 4 years ago

    So no Mesoraco or Grandal in any deal for a starter eh? I am guessing they are willing to move OF Heisey, OF/IF Frazier, LHP Wood, RHP Volquez, 1B Soto,OF Sappelt, OF Phipps,RHP Thompson, along with Alonso in any deal. Some low level guys may be considered also.   

  20. CUBS need to unload both soriano and zambrano contracts, that would make chicago cub fans happy. means more  money to play around with.. they just proved to give quade a 1 million pay check when they caned him as manager. SO money issue isn’t the problem it was HENDRY with the back loaded contracts and no trade clauses that messed up the cubs payroll

  21. A bit over-the-top with the fake anger, but still pretty funny.

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