"With half a season under his belt and the trade deadline less than three weeks away, Alfonso Soriano has a new take on his stint with the Washington Nationals: He wants to stay.
"I feel very good here, better than I expected," Soriano said in an interview yesterday. "I feel much better. I don't want to leave. I want to stay here and build something from this group that we have here. I think it's a very nice group. I feel more comfortable. I don't want to go to another place."
Soriano's statements came three days after he was voted to the National League all-star team as an outfielder by both the players and the fans. That was a significant development in his adjustment from second base, where he played since he came to the majors in 1999.
"Now, I'm on the all-star team, and that makes me feel like I can play the position," Soriano said.
When the Nationals were in the process of persuading Soriano to switch to left field in spring training, they made him a five-year, $50 million offer to stay in Washington. Soriano declined, at least in part because he was unsure he could play the outfield -- or if he wanted to.
Now, he understands that he might be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline. But he said that even if the Nationals held onto him, he would give the club every opportunity to re-sign him when he became a free agent at season's end.
"If they don't do nothing now, in three months, they would be the first team that I want to come to because I feel comfortable here," Soriano said. "We have a young team. You have a new owner. In two years, we have a new stadium here. There's a lot of good things happening here. I hope they think about this."
Incoming Nationals president Stan Kasten is set to rebuild largely through trades and the minor leagues. Neither Kasten nor General Manager Jim Bowden responded to inquiries about Soriano's comments last night."
He's getting traded.... The Orioles got a lot of financial incentives to not block the Expos/Nats move to DC. I don't remember the exact details, but I remember thinking, in terms of revenue, it was going to be a big financial drag on the Nats for a long time. The Orioles owner was a real dick, but in business terms, it was a shrewd deal.
The only way they could sign Soriano is to pull a Marlins and it'd just be Soriano and a bunch of low salary bums and young guys who haven't hit arbitration yet... In short... If I was the Nats owner, it's a no brainer, you trade him, because Soriano will eventually start bitching that the Nats won't spend $ to build a good team around him.
Then again though, it's hard to predict an ownership's tendencies... Maybe it's a super rich guy who doesn't mind if he loses a lot of money as long as he wins... Or maybe he's delusional, ala the A-Rod Texas deal, and pay Soriano a ton without thinking about the long term implications.
But odds are, the accountants will prevail and Soriano goes.... That frees up $ to sign guys like Zimmerman and Patterson to long term deals...
IF I owned the Nats though, I'd want to devote a large amount of money to rebuilding the scouting system, particularly in Latin America, that basically atrophied in the latter expo years. Medium market teams like the Nats have to keep the pipeline full of talent so you can selectively make long term deals to guys you like and trade others to make a spot for your new guys.
Just a hunch, but it wouldn't shock me if the Angels made a move to get him. Besides the need for an OF bat and plenty of prospects to deal, the Angels are a very latino friendly team, the majority owner is even Mexican-American. I've heard Vladdy and OC rave about the atmosphere here compared to Montreal. Besides having a heavy Latino poplation in the area, the Angels line-up is stacked with Latino players.
And Socal people who have the $ Soriano has, you can buy some of the most beautiful residential properties in the world. And being in Socal, people are used to seeing famous people, so when you're out and about in public, there's much less star gawking going on. Plus the Angels fans are notoriously nice and loyal to their players who've produced for them, and you're not going to get the constant negativity from the press like you would in New York of Boston when you hit a slump or make a costly error.
Trust me, if Soriano hits a few game winning dingers, and he'll be beloved for decades.
As an Angels fan, until recently, I wouldn't want him, because he's had a tendency to be a complainer. Lately though, he's either matured or his handlers have put him on a short leash so his reputation won't hurt his market value...
My main concern was, Mike Scioscia is like Ozzie Guillen in some ways in that, there's the Scioscia way, and there is the highway... that's why the Angels sent Jose Guillen packing even though he was hitting... But then I started thinking, Vladdy and OC are leaders on this team, on the field and the clubhouse, and Vladdy and OC can sort of let Soriano in on the rules, which are Scioscia's in charge, don't bitch and moan, and just focus on playing ball. Coming from vet latinos like OC and Vlad, Soriano may listen and behave.... Plus, winning is a sauve for a lot of things, and the Angels lineup and prospects are stacked for a very good run the next few years at least.
I don't get to see him enough, but when Cardinal fans talk about Soriano they all complain about his horrendous defense at 2nd. As in worst in the majors defense. As in one of the worst all-time in terms of everyday starters.
I don't know......for 30/30 every year I can live with some crappy defense. But I dont have to watch it every night, and I don't have to pay him $15M/yr.......
I think Soriano has a "I'm so good I don't need any coaching" kind of attitude about his hitting. If you look at his career #s, he really should've become a much better hitter than he is. His first truly great year was the best one he's ever had. Ever since then, He has actually regressed a bit. His obp is 338.... That should be his average.
Yea, I'm in an OBP league, and his OBP is killing me...on the bright side tho, this year its more due to last month's slump than walks. He already has matched his career high in walks, so hopefully this is a sign he is becoming more patient at the plate.
johnsamo wrote:I think Soriano has a "I'm so good I don't need any coaching" kind of attitude about his hitting. If you look at his career #s, he really should've become a much better hitter than he is. His first truly great year was the best one he's ever had. Ever since then, He has actually regressed a bit. His obp is 338.... That should be his average.
So essentially, he's an uncoachable complainer, based on your several posts. I would disagree.
Do you know of any other player of his caliber that's been traded twice out of places he was just getting settled into and enjoying, then actually FORCED to switch positions?
I think he's been treated a bit harshly over his career, esp for someone so good. The fact he's now saying he'd be willing to play outfield and stay in Washington should show you he's willing to roll with the punches. But for a guy to be 30/30 every year and nearly 40/40 to be tossed about like he has seems unprecedented to me.
It's no wonder he's felt unappreciated.
Sure, he could use a higher OBP, but he has improved his walks over his career. Remember, he turned out to be 2 years older than thought when he was a rookie. Those two years were the key developmental years where you could hope to see some major changes. So it's understandable he could only improve so much.