While there’s no shortage of other obsevers who think a trade is unlikely, the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano is well convinced the Mets should take the disgruntled Alfonso Soriano off the Nationals’ hands.
To focus on the handful of things there are to dislike about Soriano is to lose sight of all there is to like about him. Sure, he’s going to make $10 million this year. But his salary got that high for a reason.
Soriano is, at the bottom line, a huge bat. He is a player who once drove in 102 runs as the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. He is a low on-base percentage guy, yes. But he hits home runs. Steals bases, too.
Kaz Matsui has been a mystery in his two years as a Met, but we know for certain that he is not (a) a quick healer or (b) a good second baseman. The Mets can count on his return from his latest knee injury if they want to, believing their lineup is good enough whether he hits or not. Or they can go out and get a guy who’ll give them 35 home runs, 30 stolen bases and 100 RBI.
They can throw Anderson Hernandez out there, hoping he’ll develop into an All-Star, or they can get a guy who’s already been an All-Star four times.
With the Nationals having miscalculated the strength of Soriano’s aversion to the outfield, the price should be much lower than it was last July. If it’s Victor Diaz, or even if (wildest-dreams time here) the Nats would take back Matsui and part of his contract, Mets GM Omar Minaya should jump at this one.
His defense is bad, yes, but it’s not as if he’d be replacing Bill Mazeroski here. The Mets’ current options are Matsui, who stinks at the position when healthy, or Hernandez, who admitted last week that he’s having trouble learning how to turn the double play. Soriano will cost them runs at second base, but he’ll make up for it with his bat — a lot better than either of those other two would.
Soriano is being silly, putting his reputation and his paycheck in jeopardy. He is worthy of no one’s sympathy. If your boss called you in tomorrow and told you he was changing your job, you might be upset. You might not like it. You might not feel qualified for the position to which he’s moving you. But you’d do it. Heck, you have bills. You’d have no choice.
But if the reason Soriano is pulling this stunt is so that he can get traded to a different team, the Mets should help him out.
Considering that Omar Minaya has already tried — and failed — to get anyone to take on even a portion of Kaz Matsui’s remaining salary, the term “wildest-dreams time” is quite applicable.