MLB Trade Rumors: Rays Interested in Alfonso Soriano


The Tampa Bay Rays have so many holes to fill due to poor performance and injuries, it’s not certain they will

go out on the trade market and make a move for a big name.  Andrew Friedman, the team’s general manager, has made it clear that any moves they make will be based on the expected timeframe for return of some of their key players who currently reside on the disabled list.  Players like Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce make the trade deadline decisions more difficult since there is not an exact timeframe for their return.

Despite all this, the Rays may be interested in adding Alfonso Soriano according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  Topkin went on to dispute a recent suggestion by ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Rays could be sellers at the deadline based on their commitment to winning this year.  Injuries happen and the Rays have been hit hard, but in Topkin’s mind the team is not giving up.

The fact is, Tampa Bay is 6.5 games out coming into play Tuesday.  They’ve closed larger gaps than that.  If we look at the Wild Card standings (which is just fun to do now that there are two teams from each league involved), the Rays are just a half-game out.  There is no reason for this team to sell.  They are competing for another postseason berth.

Soriano’s contract is the type that the Rays would never take on at face value.  The Cubs would need to eat a large portion of that contract for Tampa to even consider a deal, but the Rays have made good use of players other teams didn’t see as contributors to their success.  It’s part of the Ray’s framework for success.

Soriano is hitting .269/.327/.487 with 15 home runs.  He is a 7-time All-Star but hasn’t been selected to an All-Star team since 2008.  At 36 years old, Soriano knows he’s closer to the end than the beginning, and he’s already made it known that he would be alright with a trade to a competitor.  The Rays are a competitor.

The move makes sense considering the Rays current state in the outfield.  Matt Joyce is injured and Hideki Matsui had to leave Monday’s game early.  Any potential trade will all be dependent on how much the Cubs ask for in return and how much of Soriano’s contract they are willing to absorb.

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