Now that the Chicago Cubs have traded Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins, there is speculation Alfonso Soriano could be next up to be moved. Alfonso is going to make a boatload of cash the next three seasons and hasn’t performed up to his contract in years. For all you new readers, a boatload of cash is precisely $54 million dollars.
Enter Chone Figgins. Having completed a bad contract trade with the cubs before, could, or really in this case, should Jack Z & Co., explore a possible Soriano for Figgins swap?
It’s no shock most Mariner fans want Figgins out of town. I understand it. After torching the Mariners for years, he’s been a complete bust of a signing. But Soriano is turning 36 on Saturday, is a very poor defender, and would undoubtedly see his power numbers shrink playing his home games in Safeco Field. Also, I am not completely sold on the idea of trading Figgins just to trade him. Most trade situations would also involve paying the majority of his contract, and I can’t be completely convinced it’s worth paying that much money to just be rid of the guy.
In theory, a Soriano/Figgins deal would likely see the Mariners receiving some money to cover the difference (Soriano will make $18 million in 2012, 13 & 14 – Figgins will make $9 million in 2012, $8 million in 2013 and has an option vesting at 600 plate appearances in 2013, which would pay him another $9 million in 2014) Busting out my Texas Instrument graphing calculator, that’s a difference of $9 to $10 million a year, with Soriano being guaranteed one year more at $18 million. The Cubs would have to throw in a ton of money in order for this trade to start making sense. Even then, do we want to pay Soriano, at age 36, 37 & 38, any amount of money to be a lousy defender in left and a league average, to more than likely, below league average hitter? Not really.
Soriano would bring a little bit more pop to this lineup (how much is debatable), but his horrible on base percentage and putrid defense, bring down his overall value considerably. Playing Soriano over Casper Wells, outside of the chance the Cubs pay his entire contract, has absolutely no benefit to the 2012 Mariners. Ill trade having Figgins as a backup infielder for the possibility of a Wells/Seth Smith type player platoon, before I’d trade Figgins for Soriano. Just my opinion. What’s yours?