Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You're going the wrong way...

Not just a great line from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but a pithy way to sum up the direction this Soriano fiasco is going.

As has been posted here and other blogs many times over. The Soriano trade was a debacle--trading a high OBP guy who actually plays a decent outfield for a super-expensive, super-low OBP guy who will have minimal power at best in RFK, not to mention us throwing in Termell Sledge and a prospect is just dreadful. But it is going from bad to worse as it becomes clear that Bowden did no research into Soriano's willingness to switch positions. As you might recall, we already have a second baseman, Jose Vidro. Those of you who read this blog might also recall that we posted last week that Bowden would have to be a fool not to do such research and to rely on his own belief that Soriano will of course willingly move positions with no problem "for the good of the team."
Well, we don't have to guess any more. Soriano has made his position known: he will not willingly switch positions. And for good measure, he states that this will be a one year deal as he has no desire to stay in the National League and will flee DC as soon as he can, i.e. at the end of 2006.

This leaves us with very few options.
1) Tell Soriano to go do a rather unpleasant thing (trying to make this post family-friendly) and play outfield (or better yet shortstop, but we know that won't happen). If Soriano hopes to make any real money in free agency, he'll have to post numbers no matter what. That doesn't mean, however, that Soriano won't be a malcontent in the clubhouse and won't choose to make errors and ground into double plays/strikeout at key points for the Nationals--in fact, as we often painfully learn in sports, teams will often sign guys who were intentionally bad or disruptive ("Hey, he might be great for us") over guys who just sucked because they suck.

2) Trade Soriano for whatever we can get. And frankly, I don't know how much that would be. SuperNova and I discussed that the market for AL second basemen is pretty thin.

3) Play Soriano at 2nd and trade Vidro. Out of the question. Besides, then what would we do next year?

4) And sadly, perhaps our best option. Don't offer Soriano arbitration. Let him leave now. Cut our losses that we traded away Wilkerson, Sledge and a prospect for nothing. And fire Jim Bowden ASAP. Of course the owners (hah! what owners?) won't do that since Bowden is essentially part of the ownership group (MLB) until we get actual owners. But at some point and very soon, the trigger must be pulled on Jim Bowden before we really have nothing left.


At 3:10 PM, Blogger El Gran Color Naranja said...

Option #5 - Let Frank have 5 minutes alone with him. It'd be like one of those scenes where one detective looks the other way. "Do what you gotta do"

Option #6 - Trade him back to Texas for Wilkerson, Sledge and Galarraga. It'd be one of those things they talk about in baseball lore. Like Joel Youngblood playing for the Mets and Expos in the same day.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trade Soriano to the Mets. GM Minaya "covets" Soriano, maybe even more than Bowden "covets" the outfield grass at the Great American Ballpark. Seriously, how far have the Mets gone already, how much money obligated this year, to know that landing Soriano just might actually GET THEM THERE. That Soriano might be that little extra piece they are missing. That's the angle I would play if I were in Bowden's shoes. In return, of course, I'd ask for Heilman, Millege, and prospect. Then I'd sign Burnitz to a 1-yr deal for 4 mil.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Brian said...

what about

(5) Release Jose Vidro. We’ve had the discussions about sunk cost with regards to Guzman. How would it be any different with Vidro? If your choice is simply getting rid of one guy, your choice is (1) a 2B who is a serious injury question or (2) a 2B in his free agent year, which way would you go?


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