Alfonso Soriano may be heading to Los Angeles, but not because he’s the primary target. The Dodgers have
been persistent in their pursuit of Ryan Dempster, but it seems the Cubs and the Dodgers are talking about including Soriano in the deal. According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, a Major League source said the two teams were discussing a deal that would send both Dempster and Soriano to L.A. in a package.
Dempster and Soriano both have 10-5 rights, meaning they can veto any trade – and Dempster already has with the seemingly finalized trade to the Braves early last week. Dempster has made it clear he wants to play for the Dodgers, but Soriano hasn’t specifically indicated he’d be willing to agree to such a deal. However, in the past Soriano has said he’d be open to a trade to a contender. The Dodgers fit that bill.
The Dodgers are tied for first place in the National League West. They’ve already added Hanley Ramirez but want pitching help. If they can get Soriano, who adds another power threat, without having to take on the remainder of his full contract, the deal makes sense. It’s unlikely the Dodgers would be willing to take on the entirety of Soriano’s contract though. The Cubs will have to eat a portion of it. He is due to make $18 million next year and $18 million in 2014.
The Cubs have been looking for a way to part with Soriano since Theo Epstein took over operations. The contract was one of the worst Jim Hendry (the former GM) made. Soriano has not been a terrible player, but he has not played up to his huge contract – which is not his fault. It was Hendry’s fault for offering the deal. Dempster will be gone at the end of this year anyway, so the Cubs have no reason not to trade him. If it takes absorbing part of Soriano’s contract to unload both players and get a solid return, it makes sense to do so.
The Cubs are 18.5 games back in the National League Central and are in complete rebuilding mode. They have a bright future though with the likes of Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Bryan LaHair, and even Darwin Barney.
For more on the Cubs, be sure to check out Cubbies’ Crib.
For more on the Dodgers, be sure to check out Lasorda’s Lair.