I spent my weekend doing home renovation stuff (new house of older vintage*). I finally get online to discover there are rumors floating around that the M’s may trade Soriano for Soriano, and play Soriano 2 in center. (clarification update, Monday — when I say “floating around” I mean “someone asked me about it and someone else emailed us to comment on it” — this is not reliable sources or something the M’s, as far as I know, are talking about)
I think I speak for all of us here when I say “nooooooooooooooooo!!!”.
Alfonso Soriano is a useful baseball player. His defense is bad but it’s not the absolute disaster it’s sometimes made out to be, and as long as he hits as well as he has, he’s a net benefit there. The problem is that it’s generally been made out that Soriano’s young, talented, and flawed, and a good bet to get much better. Except that he’s not — turns out he’s two years older than everyone thought, and what we’ve seen may well be as good as Alfonso can possibly get.
The other issue is whether he’s well-suited to center, and I don’t see it. Position switches, especially large ones, tend to defy stathead-type analysis: a quick-reflex soft-gloved strong-armed player might make a great third baseman but if he can’t track flies very well and isn’t fast on the run, outfield’s not his place to shine.
I don’t see Soriano’s talents making him a passable center fielder… but we’ll see.
The M’s should not trade for him, though. He’s not as cheap, young, or talented as the Soriano we already have.
* what in the world have I gotten myself into?? Wait, I have an idea **
** The U.S.S. Mariner is now accepting applications for “interns”. Interns can be high school or college students of any kind. Interns will be given research and writing tasks suitable for future careers in sports writing and long-term wise-acre and layabout. Qualifications include ability to hang sheet rock, do complicated electircal wiring tasks, refinish hardwood floors, diagnose and fix roof problems, fix mortar and brick issues, perform large-scale plumbing tasks, kitchen remodeling, and other tasks as assigned. Other required traits include “ability to keep mouth shut about actual work performed on internship” and “unwillingness to give up boss to authorities”. This is an unpaid internship position.