08 March 2006

All-Baseball.column: Soriano Not Selfish Enough

The Alfonso Soriano soap opera should not exist.

The reasons for this are manifold. For one thing, the Nationals should have just asked him if he would mind playing the outfield, and one way or the other, this wouldn't be a discussion topic at this point. For another, if Soriano thinks that by staying at second base he'll drive up his value in free agency, he's got another think (or two) coming. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up:

Former Yankees and Texas Rangers secondbaseman Alfonso Soriano was traded to the Washington Whatevers in December, for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Termel Sledge and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga. Galaragga's a 24-year old prospect who's not yet had any success above Single-A ball, but Baseball America now considers him the Rangers' 7th best prospect. Sledge has been a reserve outfielder to this point, but he's got a little pop, a little speed, a little patience, and therefore some potential. Wilkerson, therefore, was the only "established major leaguer" on that end of the trade, and the differences between the two are not as great as you think. Wilkerson suffered through a season in one of the worst hitters parks in history, while Soriano played half his games in the best hitters park in the American League. On the road, Wilkerson's OPS was actually over 100 points higher than Soriano's (751 to 639) in 2005, and if that's any indication of their "real" skills, Alfonso will have a lot of trouble adjusting to the unfriendly confines of RFK Stadium in 2006, no matter what position he plays.

Read the rest at All-Baseball.com...

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