Central Links: Soriano, Cubs, White Sox, Mills, Royals

The Cardinals and Tigers have met three times in the World Series, tying them with Red Sox/Cardinals and Reds/Yankees as the seventh-most common matchup in Series history.  Could the two teams share their fourth date in the Fall Classic this season?  Here's the latest from both the AL and NL Central…

  • Alfonso Soriano wants to keep playing the outfield, so the Cubs may have trouble convincing him to waive his no-trade clause to join an AL team looking for a designated hitter, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune"I don't know what I could do the whole season [as a DH]. To me, playing DH is boring. You only play like half [the game]," Soriano said.  "I always play defense and offense, so I'd always have to work hard on my mind, 'Now I'm an offense guy only.' "
  • The Cubs are likely to pursue veterans looking to rebuild value on one- or two-year contracts, opines ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine as part of a chat with fans.  Levine cites Shaun Marcum, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeff Francis, Francisco Liriano, Joe Blanton and Brandon McCarthy as types of pitchers that could interest the Cubs.  Levine also discusses several other Cubs and White Sox-related topics in the all-Chicago chat.
  • The Indians will not bring back hitting coach Bruce Fields or third base coach Steve Smith, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Smith had already said he was taking 2013 off, while Fields already has another job.  Former Astros manager Brad Mills is expected to join the Indians staff in some capacity; Mills worked on Terry Francona's coaching staffs in both Philadelphia and Boston.
  • Alcides Escobar appears to be the Royals' long-term answer at shortstop, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that the club has compiled lots of young depth at the position in the minor leagues.
  • From earlier today on MLBTR, I compiled some Cardinals notes, Tim Dierkes looked at the Brewers' arbitration-eligible players, and Ben Nicholson-Smith compiled a set of Tigers notes plus profiled the Cubs in the latest entry in our Offseason Outlook series.


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23 Comments on "Central Links: Soriano, Cubs, White Sox, Mills, Royals"


DerangedAngry Hilbilly
2 years 10 months ago

What do the Cubs fans think it would take the Braves to acquire Soriano and all but $4mill per year paid? He’d fit right into our LF need. realistically please (in other words, don’t say Simmons, Prado and Delgado)

Ray Lytle
2 years 10 months ago

Atlanta knows what it would take. The Cubs asked for their needs when they tried to deal Dempster to the Braves

Shel K
2 years 10 months ago

realistically, why not delgado? you’re getting a guy who hit .275, 32 HR, 108 RBI (for a team challenged in getting men on base), .826 OBS, has a strong arm, a great attitude in the clubhouse, and at least this year played at least league average defense. All he lacks is speed. That’s not worth a minor league pitcher who might or might not pan out in the majors?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

“That’s not worth a minor league pitcher who might or might not pan out in the majors?” Its a lot different to say that about a guy who is projected to be a #4 than a guy who has ace potential. And Im not a Braves fan

Shel K
2 years 10 months ago

The operative word is ” projected”-how’s Ben turner doing on the majors, and how long was mark prior’s career?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

It’s basic supply vs demand. The market for outfielders is overloaded this year. Soriano had one good season with a bunch of mediocre ones before. There is no way a team trades their top pitching prospect for him. A guy with 6 years of MLB control is worth more than a guy who is going to be overpaid to run around LF for two years, when you get get that same production on the free agent market and not have to give up the young pitcher

DerangedAngry Hilbilly
2 years 10 months ago

If it was Delgado and say a low level guy (Northcutt say) I think that the Cubs might have to add Lahair (we could use a left handed bench bat since Hinske is surely gone)

DerangedAngry Hilbilly
2 years 10 months ago

I mean all 3, not Delgado individually, you know how goofy some people get

ThisGuyRocks
2 years 10 months ago

If Escobar is the Royals long term answer and we have alot of depth behind him, there as to be a team with a decent starter available looking for a young short stop eh?

Patrick
2 years 10 months ago

they are all so young they will have more value if we wait a year….even then we might want to keep mondesi to be able to trade escobar, as mondesi looks like he might have a better bat

Tony DiQuattro
2 years 10 months ago

I guess Soriano has every right to exercise his no trade clause, but come on… he doesn’t want to play in SF because of the “weather” i.e. can’t hit homers, and he doesn’t want to go to the AL because he would probably spend SOME time at DH. That said, the Cubs now have 13 potential trade partners, not to mention he would likely block a trade to any place his numbers would decline; basically anywhere but AZ, Cincinnati, Colorado or Philly.
If he’s really that concerned with staying comfy on a losing team where he can pad his stats for his own pride or his final contract, that shows what kind of a guy he is.

shthar
2 years 10 months ago

When did soriano start playing defence?

sourbob
2 years 10 months ago

The various defensive metrics mostly seem to agree that Soriano was average or a little better than average in the field this year. Those numbers are prone to fluctuation and rarely tell the whole story. However, from Spring Training on, there was extensive reporting–at least here in Chicago–of how Soriano finally, grudgingly changed his positioning in the outfield this year to compensate for his diminished speed. Those stories and scouting.reports saying the same would indicate there’s a pretty good chance he can sustain this improvement.

55saveslives
2 years 10 months ago

Soriano is the ultimate “ME first” guy! I’m glad he didn’t accept a trade to the Giants. The “TEAM FIRST” attitude doesn’t suit him.

sourbob
2 years 10 months ago

Soriano has, throughout his career, been considered a terrific teammate. He explained his reasoning for rejecting the trade to the Giants at the time and they weren’t about selfishness. He was just being honest with himself (and frank with the media and fans) that he felt his improved health would be in danger with the weather differences in San Francisco. I don’t think that a guy coming off a long string of injuries trying to make sure he plays in an environment that would protect his health is all that crazy or selfish. What would be selfish would be agreeing to a trade to chase a ring when you know that the different environment would mean the team acquiring you would get less than they bargained for.

Red_Line_9
2 years 10 months ago

I can’t imagine a harsher more unstable weather climate than Chicago offers.

ERS
2 years 10 months ago

What organization is Bruce Fields with now? I read the article, but it also just says “another organization.” He’s a former coach in the Tigers’ system, so I’m curious if he’s back here.

Fangaffes
2 years 10 months ago

Wait! Theo wants to get Dice-K again? He didn’t learn the first time?

Slopeboy
2 years 10 months ago

He’s thinking of all the Cubs jerseys Dice-K will be able to sell.

Patrick J. Fleming
2 years 10 months ago

if you have a SS that is better than your current shortstop (like mondesi profiles to be) you trade your cost controlled high valued SS for a young 6-7 year controllable SS

Patrick J. Fleming
2 years 10 months ago

and i mean in about 3 years

sourbob
2 years 10 months ago

I think people get so used to the bad/selfish player narrative that they try to impose it on situations where it doesn’t fit. Soriano has a contract that exceeds his value by a lot, yes. The Cubs would love to get out from under that albatross of a contract, yes. He had a history of making some memorably poor plays here and there, yes. But while those might be familiar components of stories about bad, selfish players, even a casual look shows that the rest of that trope doesn’t holdup. Soriano is a nice guy who tries hard. His teammates like him. His management respects him. The Cubs aren’t trying to unload him because he’s Vernon Wells or something. He still has value. He’s just not a good fit for their revised plans for the next few years.

xcal1br
2 years 10 months ago

Always the voice of reason. :thumbs up: