June 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano (12) makes a catch against the New York Mets in the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Marlins need to make a run at Alfonso Soriano

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I know you are reading my headline and probably scratching your head. Has Ehsan finally lost it after the Miami Marlins most recent June swoon? Is that hot weather in Alabama driving him nuts, to the point that he is making some ridiculous trade ideas?

On the contrary, I think this is an excellent idea for the Marlins. As Jon Heyman noted in his blog today on CBSSports:

Since the middle of May he’s hit 14 home runs (that’s all the ones he’s hit this year), making him one of the most productive sluggers in the big leagues over the past month and a half. Yet, it seems no one is ever showing interest.

 

Alfonso Soriano would actually be a perfect fit on the Marlins team right now. The Marlins have had virtual black holes on offense from left field, center field, first base, and catcher. Soriano could possibly provide the Marlins a way to fill two of those needs with just one move.

 

The Miami Marlins would be wise to make a trade for Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano (Image: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE)

 

According to Fangraphs, Soriano would be the Marlins second most productive player in 2012, he would be tied for the third most productive according to Baseball Reference. It all depends on which defensive metric you trust more. Either way, Soriano’s offense would instantly boost the Marlins offense.

Soriano has posted a 2.1 WAR so far this season, according to Fangraphs. Soriano currently has 14 home runs this season and a line of .270/.330/.486. His wOBA of .246 would actually be a huge boost for the Marlins offense. Fangraphs projects Soriano to hit .252/.306/.469 the rest of the season with 13 home runs. Compare that with the .258/.330/.408 that Gaby Sanchez is projected to hit the rest of the way, Soriano provides a bit more for the Marlins offensively going forward with his wOBA projected to be .329 the rest of the season compared to Gaby’s .325 wOBA.

The Marlins could acquire Soriano, put him in left, place Emilio Bonifacio in center field when he returns from injury, and move Logan Morrison back to first base.

I know, what you guys are thinking, the defense that Soriano will play in left field will more then allow Gaby Sanchez to make up whatever edge Soriano has on him on offense. Well, that premise would actually be false. Soriano would be an upgrade over Morrison in left field, and just by moving Morrison to first base, the Marlins defense would improve.

According to Fangraphs, Logan Morrison has already cost the Miami Marlins four runs on defense in 2012, in left field. LoMo is projected to cost the Marlins another four runs defensively over the rest of the season. With the Marlins in the hole that they have dug themselves into, every run will count as they try to make a post season run.

On the flip side, Fangraphs has Soriano with a positive 8.1 UZR, which is backed up by an above average UZR each of the past three seasons. Sure, Soriano is not half the player that he was before the Cubs signed him to that ludicrous  $136-million, eight-year contract that runs through 2014, in 2006, but he can still be a valuable contributor.

Soriano’s contract still remains as a major hurdle in any trade for the Marlins, but it is not crazy to believe that the Cubs would not eat the majority of his contract. The Marlins have already seen the Cubs eat a major portion of Carlos Zambrano‘s contract in order to get rid of him.

Heyman pointed out that “the Cubs are willing to pay a very substantial portion of Soriano’s deal or take back comparably ‘bad’ contracts to make a deal. yet, it never seems there are any takers.”

Soriano has never been a problem in the clubhouse. While he does have a no-trade clause, he’s likely willing to waive it to play for a contender. While the Marlins are not currently contenders with their June swoons, a move for Soriano and a hot week could get them right back in the middle of things in the NL East as well as in the Wild Card.

 

 

If the Marlins can get the Cubs to take on a majority of Soriano’s contract, then the trade would be well worth it. If the Marlins want to match bad contracts, they could entice the Cubs to take on Ricky Nolasco and/or John Buck, freeing the Marlins the burden of both players and their struggles.

The better option for the Marlins would probably be the Cubs eating the majority of Soriano’s salary. The Marlins could send him one of their pitching prospects in Triple-A in Alex Sanabia, Sean West, or Wade LeBlanc. Or the Marlins could send them one of their outfield bats in Bryan Petersen or former Rookie of the Year, Chris Coghlan.

Either move would benefit the Marlins for the rest of the season, and depending on how much salary the Cubs are willing to pay, through the rest of Soriano’s contract, which expires in 2014. If the Cubs eat a good portion of the salary, the Marlins would then have no issues with flipping his bat to an American League team to play DH or just outright releasing him. It would be a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Fish.

The Cubs got a much needed jolt recently with the promotion of slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo, whose prmotion forced Bryan LaHair into the outfield. The Cubs also have another top prospect in outfielder Brett Jackson they would like to call up at some point this season. Moving Soriano would do the Cubs a lot of good right now.

The Marlins need an offensive boost of any kind right now. Alfonso Soriano could provide the Marlins with that. At the right price, Soriano makes a lot of sense for the Marlins. If they can work out a perfect deal, there is no reason why the Marlins should not work out a deal with their trade partners of many times, Theo Epstien.

Adding Soriano would improve the Marlins both offensively and surprisingly, defensively. If the Cubs eat the majority of his contract, the Marlins have nothing to lose here. The Marlins would then have the luxury of moving Gaby Sanchez and Matt Dominguez in a separate deal to fill another void on the roster.

Do you think that Alfonso Soriano is a logical trade idea for the Miami Marlins? Answer in the poll below:

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Tags: Alex Sanabia Alfonso Soriano Anthony Rizzo Brett Jackson Bryan LaHair Bryan Petersen Carlos Zambrano Chicago Cubs Chris Coghlan Emilio Bonifacio Gaby Sanchez John Buck Logan Morrison Matt Dominguez Miami Marlins Ricky Nolasco Sean West Wade LeBlanc

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