Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Who Will Buy This Wonderful Feeling?

There are just thirteen more days in the glorious Alfonso Soriano experiment. With the trading deadline inching closer, the rumors are getting hotter. And heavier. It seems pretty clear at this point that the Nats are going to get something of value for Soriano, which makes his trade a necessity. For all the talk of wanting to resign him, the prospects they're going to get back are likely to be more valuable than the draft picks they'd net if they lost him. There's simply no guarantee that Soriano would resign with the team, even as he's expressed a willingness to do so.

And, truthfully, I suspect that whatever contract he's going to get is going to pay him far more than he's worth. Soriano has been a magical player this year, and the contract he's going to get is going to reflect that. The winning bidder is going to have to hope that he continues to have seasons like this, instead of like his three previous seasons, when he was merely very good. Very good can win a pennant. But it's harder to do when you're paying for excellence.

But before we think about money, let's keep our eyes on the real prize, the trading deadline.

  • Detroit:
    The Nationals want three prospects and have asked that prized right-hander Humberto Sanchez (stats)be included in the deal. Sanchez (5-2, 3.19 ERA at Triple-A Toledo) has pitched superbly since his promotion from Double-A Erie. He started and pitched one perfect inning in the All-Star Futures Game and has an overall potential that compares favorably to that of rookies Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya.

    Washington officials are requesting a package that includes Sanchez, rising prospect Jair Jurrjens (stats) (3-2, 2.78 at Double-A Erie) and a position player. Their first request was 2005 first-round pick Cameron Maybin, but the Tigers will not trade him. The parties may, however, settle on Erie outfielder Brent Clevlen (stats), a former second-round pick, currently with Erie.

    Banks of the Anacostia has a closer look at these three.

    Their columnists are certainly pushing for it. Push! Push harder!

  • Seattle:
    the Nationals want to pick up can't-miss young talent in exchange. Apparently they have settled on the Mariners' center fielder, Adam Jones, as the player they most want in exchange.

    On the surface, it doesn't seem like a deal Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi would be likely to make. Seattle has the money to make that kind of deal, but Bavasi has stressed -- Seattle PI

    The Internet report mentioned outfielder Adam Jones as one player Bowden would seek. Seattle sources say this is a deal-breaker because Jones, an immense talent, is regarded as the center fielder for now and the future....

    Several scouts at Yankee Stadium opined Monday that Bowden may be floating Seattle as an interested party in an effort to get the Los Angeles Angels to move on getting Soriano. --Seattle Times

    the Mariners could A) ensure that he doesn't go to the Angels; B) boost their offense, the fifth-worst in the American League and C) obtain a player who could prove a difference-maker in the A.L. West race, helping improve the job security of general manager Bill Bavasi -- Ken Rosenthal

  • Angels:
    Apparently, the Angels' search for a big bat has not yet reached the nation's capital. Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said on KSPN/710's "The Big Show with John Ireland and Steve Mason" that the Angels are not one of the seven teams to have asked him about slugger Alfonso Soriano.--OC Register

    Angels consider the current asking price too high and would not surrender premium talent without signing him to a contract extension. To this point, the Nationals are not believed to be willing to allow another team to negotiate an extension in advance of a trade.

    In an e-mail Friday, Washington General Manager Jim Bowden said of the Angels: "They are not a club that is presently involved in trade discussions with our club." -- LA Times

  • Yankees:
    The Yanks have monitored the Washington corner outfield duo of Alfonso Soriano and Jose Guillen, but are not as enthralled as has been re ported in some corners. The Yanks are prioritizing defense and while Guillen and Sanders are good de fensive players, Soriano is not, which along with his huge price tag in both dol lar and prospect costs and his looming free agency make him less appealing.--NY Post

  • Those seem to be the main suitors, although Bowden has claimed that as many as seven teams are involved. I'd imagine that you can throw the Cardinals. (Here's one suggesting the Dodgers). Maybe the Blue Jays will get interested -- they're right in the race, too.

    Regardless, it's going to be a fun few weeks. Enjoy Soriano while you can, because from the number of rumors out there, Bowden's sure to get something. We certainly know he's not afraid to pull the trigger.


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