Sunday, February 27, 2005

Phil Rogers and Soriano 

In Phil Rogers' Sunday notes column, he talks at some length about the Houston Astros and the changes they have undergone this offseason, along with their ongoing pursuit of another bat for the lineup.

Specifically, Rogers mentions Alfonso Soriano as someone that Astro G.M. has scouts watching this spring, suggesting that the Astros, at least, still believe the door may be open for a possible Soriano-to-Houston deal.

It will be worth watching...I still believe that the Rangers would prefer to move Soriano before the season is up, but if they are in contention, they are likely to feel their hands are tied at the trade deadline, meaning that they will be forced to make a call on whether to non-tender him this offseason, or offer arbitration and be facing paying him $10 million for 2006.

If that is the case, then we could see a situation where Hart & Buck hold out until the end of spring training before pulling the trigger on a Soriano deal, trying to maximize their leverage in prying the most out of any interested Soriano suitors.

I still don't believe there is going to be a whole lot of difference between Burke and Soriano in 2005, so a straight-up trade probably wouldn't have a big impact in the standings in 2005. But the problem is that it is going to be perceived as giving up on the season before it even begins, given Soriano's salary and perceived value. With the poor way this offseason seems to have gone over anyway, I tend to believe Hart is going to be a bit gunshy on pulling the trigger on a Soriano trade that doesn't bring a significant pitcher back to the Rangers.

Hmm, maybe we can get Mike Lamb back.
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