Alfonso Soriano: “I don’t want to be on this team if they don’t want me here”

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Alfonso Soriano is finally showing some signs of life lately, going 16-for-42 (.381) with six homers and four doubles in the last 10 games to bring his overall numbers toward respectability.

And since the Cubs have been looking to trade him for years now the subject is once again being talked about in Chicago, where Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Soriano is willing to waive his no-trade clause if a contender comes calling.

Or as Soriano phrased it:

I don’t want to be on this team if they don’t want me here. It’s kind of hard and selfish to think [that way]. If they want me to stay here, I’m going to stay here. But if they don’t want me to, the door is open.

Soriano added that it would have to be a “contender” for him to consider the move, but of course non-contenders aren’t going to trade for a 37-year-old left fielder with a .750 OPS owed another $9 million or so for this season and $18 million for next season. And to get any contenders interested the Cubs would no doubt have to eat a significant portion of that remaining money.

Soriano is hitting .263 with a .289 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage in 82 games overall, offering good power (13 homers, 22 doubles) and horrendous plate discipline (77 strikeouts, 10 walks).

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.