Let me say up front that this is based on nothing but my speculation and imagination. No "Deep Goat"-type inside information was used in the creation of this post. But everybody else likes to write up their wild trade speculations, and it's a slow day.
To the Angels
Soriano and cash (36M)
To the Cubs
The logic behind the trade for the Angels:
- The Angels' owner, Arte Moreno, has been successful in acquiring Latin American and DR players and marketing them to the Hispanic community in Southern California.
- They were willing to spend money, but came up short in the Crawford and Werth sweepstakes.
- They have a hole in LF. The Angels' internal options: Reggie Willits, Peter Bourjos, and Rivera are not inspiring as full-time players
- They have just lost Hideki Matsui to the A's, so the DH position is open. Bobby Abreu is a below average fielder and his knees aren't getting any younger, so he will fill that role for a portion of the season.
- While Soriano is not as big a splash as Crawford, Werth or any of the other FA's, he comes in at 9M-10M a year with the Cubs eating about half of his salary.
- Torii Hunter, even at 34, can make up for a lot of Soriano's fielding issues.
The logic behind the trade for the Cubs:
- Soriano is a sunk cost - paying half of his salary frees up the outfield for a Colvin/Byrd/Fukudome/Rivera combination.
- Rivera is signed at 5.25M at a FA after 2011 and can play the corner outfield and 1b (although he is very average).
- He would be a suitable platoon partner for Fukudome and could fill in at 1b for Pena on occasion.
- As a impending FA, he might be good deadline trade bait if the Cubs are out of contention (or when the Cubs are out of contention, for you glass half empty folks).
Why Soriano would waive his no-trade.
- It's a total assumption, but I am guessing Soriano would prefer to play in the warm-weather climate of Southern California.
- He would not be a full-time DH, but would have the chance to rest his body as he gets older.
- The Angels are perennial contenders.
- The Angels might be more inclined to let him bat leadoff.
Soriano gets a fresh start, the Angels get a power bat at a discount, the Cubs get a needed part who fits into the roster. Yes, it is expensive to move him, but that is life - cheaper to pay half his salary and bid him adieu than to pay 19M for league-average production. It would be nice to get something else back from the Angels (how about soon-to-be-has-been-prospect Brandon Wood?), but is unlikely.
So there you go. Rip away, point out my errors, explain why I am wrong, or ignore. But above all, have a nice day.