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Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I wonder if being highly coveted by a team influences a players decision at all? For instance, Gillick is seemingly drooling to get Soriano here while other teams are showing moderate interest. It's likely not really a deciding factor, but I think it's something to think about. In the end, I'm sure it's a paycheck decision.

WHo is Soriano's agent? Please tell me it isnt Scott Boras.

I've been sending this message everywhere. In 2006 with RISP we have the following averages:

Burrell .222
Soriano .231
Howard .256
Utley .308
Rollins .309

I don't see the value that Soriano brings as a hitter, for the price we would pay. Having either Soriano or Rollins follow Howard limits base stealing opportunities.

My preference would be for Victorino to lead off and hope Lopes teaches him how to steal. Rollins should follow Howard. Like Joe Morgan, he's small but has a lot of "pop."

Save the money on Soriano and spend it on pitching. After all, the Phillies led the NL in runs scored.

It isn't Boras.

Save the money on Soriano and spend it on pitching.

But on who?

his agent is a guy named diego bentz

Burrell .222
Soriano .231
Howard .256
Utley .308
Rollins .309

A question from the UK - Soriano obviously played lead off last year. How would that affect these numbers?

how about take a chance getting gagne along with derosa or aurilia,and rod barajas... i'm sure there'd still be room in the budget for borowski.. Then maybe batista becomes 5th starter

Off topic but sports related: Oxford University has announced that it has chosen its word (or rather, phrase) of the year: "Carbon neutral."

One of the runner ups was "pregaming" (the practice of consuming alcoholic beverages before attending a sporting event or party, especially one where alcohol may be limited or banned.)

Now when you are criticized by your spouse, girlfriend, etc. from drinking prior to attending a sporting event, tell her that you are simply pregaming, a term recognized by Oxford University!

I'd love to take a chance on Gagne. DeRosa, Aurilia and Barajas all strike me, however, as falling squarely into the "magic beans" category (see Royals, Offseason, 2005).

I need to start an automated, off-topic thread, something that posts early enough for Carson to jump on at 6 a.m.

Jason, Soriano is definitely a tantalising prospect, albeit someone I don't want to see here for a minute longer than 4 years.

Someone mentioned a bit back the possibility of playing burrell in Right where his arm would still be of good use. Does that not solve one of the three problems? If we trade rowand for some pitching back to the white sox, and sign borowski, are we okay?

I'm keen to see what happens thursday. that day we find out whether the phils did in fact post a bid for iwamura. i was thinking earlier today that if we were to get him, the phils are looking at more cash because of the japanese market (and a team that sells well to the japanese market - show me one other team in the major leagues whose manager is a former respected player in Japan). Then going for soriano, keeping burrell and aggressively going after some relief and paying slightly over the odds makes sense.

But unless the rowand/white sox rumours are true, I've no idea where we get the pitching from.

i had thought about bringing up the market question yesterday. its one thing for soriano to ask for a certain contract, but its another matter finding someone to do it. who besides us is really that hot for soriano? right now, it appears to be a short liost containing the angels and the cubs, both of whom could conceivably offer better than the "market rate" that the phils are starting out at (essentially the same as the a-ram deal, which, hometown discount or not is the current benchmark).

the yanks probably are out - their OF is full if you count melky and yesterday, when i was in long island for work, i cozied up to a local sports anchor and was told that the mets are giving every indication that they aren't interested in soriano.

all in all, i think the phils' chances are 50-50 for soriano. i also think they will grab a league average starter somehow, not wolf. fine. i am most concerned about those two bullpen spots, however. latroy hawkins? uck.

There are two major concerns regarding Hawkins, Batista, etc. in the setup role:

1). They aren't good enough setup men.
2). Being veterans, Charlie Manuel will stick with them no matter how much they stink.

What if Gillick is planing on playing Soriano at Third and keeping Pat as well? Just a thought. Or move Rowand to Right and trade Pat for a reliver.

Great comment about Gordon, Jason. This is flying under the radar. We've heard of the great off-seasons of Howard and Utley in Japan, but what I really want to know is how is this team getting healthy? Gordon and Burrell, in particular. If Burrell is a distinct probability to be with the team, I'd at least like to hear how his various injured limbs are faring. Not sure where he makes his off-season home, but can someone call around to the various watering holes in the area to get an update?

All joking aside, Gordon's health is paramount. As evident by the miserable Rhodes-experiment, a competant reliever is very important for this team. Especially with all of the current questions surrounding middle relief in the pen.

I like the Howard protection scenarios presented above (presuming they play up to potential), but do we really think that Manuel will flip-flop spots in the lineup depending on the pitcher? That's giving him much more creative credit than he's ever shown in the past.

Where did you see that Randy Wolf is basically gone? If that then they have to have another pitcher lined up for that rotation spot.

Forget where I saw it, Ted. The quote implied that friends of Wolf said he's already making preparations to leave.

FYI, this is not being reported on the Daily news website.

GR - I'd almost prefer that we got not one but two league average starters shifted lieber for prospects. In fact if pat burrell stayed, the money got used on wolf, we could trade for lowell (floyd+madson+leiber?), rowand went for garcia, I'd be happy.

Oh, damn. Still got that RF problem. jeez.

I have to say I am realy worried about getting Soriano, in 4 years, we are going to have to start seriously paying Myers, Utley and Howard and even Cole will be making some bucks, oh and resigning J-ROll. Also, if this means we dump Burrell for nothing, then the net gain very little.

I can't believe Soriano wants Beltran-level money. Beltran is a better hitter, a waaaay better fielder, and plays a more important position. I don't think Soriano is better than Drew, Lee, or Wells, the so-called second tier guys.

Dude. Hey, you're right. said the Daily News said. I have made the clarification.

That's a lot of money to pay for 160 strikeouts a year, adding to what is already a near league-leading team strikeout total. I don't mean to get all Moneyball here, but anyone recall any team that won the World Series that had poor OB and high strikeouts? No matter how many HRs they hit? If they use all the money for Soriano and go cheap on the bullpen and add no decent rotation guy, this has a chance to be a certified disaster.

more rumors- rowand to mets for heilman. hrilman could be solid setup man or 5th starter.

rowand may be targeted by the rockies too, in exchange for a 3rf base prospect.

plus wolf targeted by yanks

Rockies prospect must be Ian Stewart. I would do it.

No to Mets. Don't help the team you're trying to chase.

i read on that soriano is meeting with Phils officials tomorrow and he supposedly wants a complete no-trade clause..which may be a deal-breaker for Gillick no matter the money offered.. We'll see how that plays out

To Clout's comment on WS winner - OBP link:

2006 Cardinals .337 (5th in NL)
2005 White Sox .322 (11th in AL)
2004 Red Sox .360 (1st in AL)
2003 Marlins .333 (8th in NL)
2002 Angels .341 (4th in AL)
2001 Diamondbacks .341 (4th in NL)

jason - on stewart, he'd still be a year away from major leagues, no?

jason, you're going to start an off-topic thread just for me? ahh, how sweet. but i thought i've been on topic?

Probably a year away.

Carson: For everybody, but I'd post it early because you're typically the first poster of the day. You're an early riser.

Stewart: Estimated time of arrival, 2007 (according to Baseball America).

"He makes good adjustments at the plate and has good discipline. He reminds me of Larry Walker."

-anonymous scout

Thanks, Jason. The line about discpline is surprising. baseball cube had him down as K'ing a fair bit more than he walked - 50 bb's and 103 K's in 06. Actually, regardless of his level, he's taken about 50 walks a year, and around 100 K's. Awfully consistent.

I believe that the Angels will make Soriano an offer he can't refuse.Just like they did Vlad.

I might be missing it, but it isn't on either.

couple things...

I think everyone would agree that signing Soriano would be a bust if they skimp on pitching.

I think they need to do it assuming he doesn't get a no trade clause. It would be fairly easy to move him or at least dump his salary in the future if all of the big spenders can put in bids.

Is Burrell or Soriano an option for right?

If so we could trade Rowand for pitching.


Sorry - left out one thing.

Rotoworld has Trott Nixon projected as landing with the Phils.

Does anyone like this idea?

why would NY want Rowand? don't they already have a centerfielder?

"Phillies lefthander Gio Gonzalez got the start against Pelfrey in the all-star game after Royals righthander Luke Hochevar was removed from the AFL with shoulder stiffness, and the 21-year-old was impressive.

Gonzalez sat in the low 90s, topping out at 94, and showed his trademark curveball while mixing in a quality changeup. Gonzalez, who is 0-0, 5.06 in five AFL innings for the Peoria Saguaros, is in the Fall League to better harness his fastball command.

"He can fly open and leave that ball up at times," a scout from an AL club said. "But there's a lot to like because he’s just so young and he showed some durability this year. I heard a lot of negative things about his emotions on the mound, but I haven't seen anything like that (in Arizona). Maybe that's the laid-back demeanor of the league, but maybe he's matured some. He's got all the tools to be a power lefty, but the changeup and fastball command have to come."

maverick: You didn't answer the other half: How many of those teams led the league in strikeouts? Interesting to see that the 2 teams on that list with poor OB (the 05 White Sox and '03 Marlins) had incredible pitching. You think the Phils rotation stacks up with those two?

"Rotoworld has Trott Nixon projected as landing with the Phils.

Does anyone like this idea?"

We need less lefties and especially ones that tend to break down alot. has an article up about Soriano. It also mentions Gillick said pitching help will likely come via trades. Is this bye bye Aaron and Pat?

Who else is trade worthy?

The '06 Tigers didn't win, but they were another poor-OBP, high-strikeout team in the WS. And they also got there with great pitching, despite their offense.

i am an early riser, even more so recently because oh my bum arm.

nixon would be ok if $$$ were right.

ian stewart would be better than nuni next season

soriano ends up elsewhere because of no trade clause.

If the rumors are true about 5 yr/$73 million for Soriano are true, maybe Gillick is more savvy than we realize. Since all of the really big spenders (Boston, both NY teams, Chicago) have other priorities, the Phils might be able to get Soriano at a cheaper rate than was projected.

I like Soriano alot more at 5 yr/$73 million than 7 yr/$110-$120 million. Still, I still think that Soriano ends up on a team with some major funds available. Angels come to mind. Maybe Houston too?

Ugh to Nixon and Hawkins. Nixon's power has really diminished and he is starting to break down physicially. Phils don't need another gimpy OF. As for Hawkins, he is Arthur Rhodes II. Hawkins always has wilted in the spotlight and I can't imagine him doing well in Philly.

Hey, if the Mets want to put Rowand in a corner outfield slot and give us Heilman, that is fine with me. I would love that deal , but I don't see why the Mets would do it.

I have a problem with Nixon because of his injury history, but not because he is lefthanded. The Phillies did fine with Dellucci in there (when he actually was hitting). Against RH starters, all lefties are not a problem and we can always PH with Conine. A Nixon/Conine platoon also might help Trot stay healthy. If we can get him for around $5-7M per year, I would sign him...still like Catalannato as the best option to platoon with Conine though...better defender, cheaper and more likely to stay on the field.

I hope things are looking our way in the Soriano negotiations. We offered 5/$73 ($14.6/yr), he wants 7/$114 ($16+ per year). My bet is if we do sign him it'll be 6/~$90, maybe an option for year 7. How many offers and how much interest he's actually generating will probably determine what the particulars are.

One thing we won't need if we sign Soriano, is another outfielder. My bet is Rowand goes somewhere for pitching, leaving Victorino in CF, but only after Soriano inks.

What is it with five-years, $73 million?

"Mark Hale and Joel Sherman write that the Mets, however, know that if they want Zito it will take a deal worth at least five years, $73 million."

Casey: That's a great example of how good your pitching has to be to overcome the twin handicaps of bad OB and high stikeouts. The Tigers were 2nd in Ks and 12th in OB. Their pitching was the best in MLB despite playing in the DH league. And, as you note, they still fell short.

The '05 White Sox were 8th in OB, about league average, and they didn't strikeout all that much, again about league average. Their pitching was great, tying Cleveland for best ERA in the AL.

The '06 Cards OB was actually above league average, plus they struck out fewer times than anyone in the league except the Giants.

The '03 Marlins had an OB that was right in the middle of the pack, 8th out of 16 teams. Plus only 2 teams in the NL struck out fewer times.

Conclusion: You can win even if your OB is league average or worse as long as you don't have a huge # of strikeouts. In other words, maybe you're not getting a lot of guys on base, but you ARE getting productive outs that move runners. But if your OB is poor and you're near the top in Ks, your pitching better be phenomenal.
If the Phillies subtract top OB guys like Abreu and Burrell and replace them with low OB/high K guys like Soriano, then the pitching better get phenomenal.

Clout, about Moneyball,

I too read it. However, I don't think the overall lesson was a dogged adherence to OBP as the dominant means for statistical evaluation (or Ks, or whatever). To me, the overwhelming point of that book was the importance of flexibility in roster creation, reflecting the shifting priorities of the market (or Mr. Market, if you've read your Benjamin Graham). OBP is no longer an undervalued commodity, Joe Morgan aside. Therefore, I don't see why it should still be viewed as a competitive panacea (if it ever was).

if Zito and Soriano are going to demand similar contracts, how is Zito not a *dramatically* better option?

assuming, of course that he would be willing to come here. but unless he's publicly said that he won't play in Philly, I don't see why not. it's not like NYC is a low-pressure atmosphere, and stats have shown that the CBP-as-bandbox conventional wisdom isn't really that accurate.

J, regarding 5yr/73 mil is sounds like the owners are collusion

Seriously, I don't see anything happening real fast with the Phillies. Maybe an FA relief pitcher, but if as PG said, if last year was X and this year is XX, then I would like to see us add at least 2 XX relievers before worrying about Soriano. My rational is that last year and for years we've gotten Y's. I.e. Franklin and Rhodes.

Gut feel says we will begin next season with Burrell. That may or may not be good, his career has been a crap shoot. Rowand is the one person who might bring a starter, and he'd better.

I would be surprised if we get Soriano. I'm still on the fence as to whether he is the key to the playoffs.

Just show me the pitching.

And the available XX (I assume you mean good) relievers are who, exactly? The only one I see is Justin Spier, who I expect to be tragically killed by the deluge of 100-dollar bills that are piled upon him.

Or maybe we should be like the Reds, and trade young, cheap and productive position players for old and injured middle relievers.

Or maybe we should be like the Reds, and trade young, cheap and productive position players for old and injured middle relievers.

Speaking of which, anyone know what Ed Wade is up to? He's not living in Cincinnati, is he?

No all I was saying was that in the past and for the most part we payed X and got Y. So if we pay for XX...which is all relative to the value of the player. Let's get XX in return. If that's Borowski and/or Weaver at a market rate and they play to XX, I'm fine.

And I have never been in favor of gutting a team of young talent, position or otherwise to get a one year fix.

So if we pay for XX...

You know, to a biologist that means something totally different.

I'm well aware, even at my advanced age, I was only using Mr. Gillick's example. Nice comback, though.

I forgot this: :)

I'm supposed to be the one with Aldzheimers. :)

mark derosa just signed a 3year 13 bmil deal with the cubbies. i look at this as a good thing because i didn't want him, especially for that price.

I love to have Soriano here especially for the right price, because we need protection for Ryan Howard. I would rather have pitching though, if we can get 2 middle relievers and a solid starter (Jeff suppan) than I would be fine with trading Burrell, and calling it a day

maverick: I agree. But that has nothing to do with what I said in my posts.

Just in Angels offer Soriano 6yr/80 mil

6/80 is not as attractive as 5/73 if the numbers are accurate...

If it hasn't been mentioned before, Howard Eskin is an effing idiot.

There is a rumor brewing that B. Anderson to Rangers for a RP. This would open a spot in Chicago for a CF. Is Rowand for Garcia in the works, with Gillick saying pitching is going to come through trades.

From this perspective, Vernon Wells is a much better value than Soriano. Younger, better fielder (Gold Glove this year) ... really just moving into his prime.

what about juan pierre? i know he never walks, but i think he was 5th with the fewest strikeouts, and that was the phils problem last year striking out when all they needed was to put the ball in play. i dunno, i think he'll be a great pickup for this ball club.

I would love to get Wells, but I don't see it happening. and reports are that he will be demanding a Beltran-sized contract as well when he's an FA.

to avoid getting in another Juan Pierre debate, let's just point out that we already have two centerfielders, and there is absolutely no reason for us to even consider getting another one.

For the record, I would much rather empty the coffers for Wells than for Soriano. Wells is a legitimate franchise player; Soriano may or may not be. But since we lack the ammo in our system to make a trade happen, it's a thought that I'll file away next to the Burrel-for-Lowry scenario.

I'd love to send rowand to the rockies for stewart, but I can't see it happening. He's been considered a Top 10-type prospect (in all of baseball, not just on the rockies) for the past ten years. This year lowered his value but not by that much. Stewart is blocked by Atkins, who is coming off of his best year, but I think we'd still have a better shot at Atkins than Stewart.

scott.. how could stewart be a top 10 prospect for 10 yrs.. he's only 20 yrs old

atkins hit.329 with a .965 OPS. He's 26 yrs old.. and he's more available than stewart.. what are you smokin?

All this talk about OBP and strikeouts, did anyone notice the Phillies were second in the NL in OBP this year? Only .001 behind the Dodgers. Soriano's OBP was slightly higher than the Phillies' as a team. Regardless of adding strikeouts, the offense will not be a problem. They led the NL in runs despite guys like Fasano and Abe being dead weight for a good chunk of games and absolutely no contribution from the pitchers (not even by accident). The only downside will be if they overpay or get tied down with a contract that will be hard to lose. I'm more concerned with the bullpen.

I don't see Burrell going anywhere, which is alright. If they could trade Rowand for pitching and they actually bid on Iwamura (I'm holding out hope) this is a pretty damn good lineup:


Just throw Soriano in right and deal with him butchering a few plays and let Vic suck up everything he can get to (which is plenty).

Again, the question will be the pen. Borowski or someone similar to handle the 8th and take over if Gordon goes down should be right near the top of the to-do list.

I got numbers for you 46 home runs in RFK. Enough said. If he swings the bat like that in Philly, your talkin possibly 60 HR's. I dont care about his average with runners in scoring position. He is a runner in scoring position when he is in the batters box. Plus he stole 40 something bases last year. That is sure to go down with the Phillies conservative running ideals, but its nice to have it when you need it. Plus his outfield assist numbers and speed, along with another year plating LF make him an upgrade from Burrell. Give me Soriano, sign a Middle of the road starter (Gil Meche) and a solid reliever that can close and were talking about a team that is a major force to be reckoned with.

Atkins isn't going anywhere after this last year. Stewart was good, better then Atkins they thought a few years or so. But I believe Jeff Baker was always the stud of the bunch. He absolutely raked it in September this year. I would love him but I doubt we have what it would cost.

The Rockies definitely should move one of the group. And Stewart I think could be had for not much more then Rowand as they have a clear hole in CF and 3 quality 3B options.

I was 100% wrong apparently. Atkins and Baker are the older and fairly proven commodities. Stewart was the prospect with potential. But is said to be at least a year away and is a LHB which i did not realize. If Baker or Atkins for that matter were made available because of the prospect on the way then more luck to us.

Baker's 06
AAA Col Springs ( Hitters Park I believe)
.305/.369/.508 20 / 108 in 482 ABs

.368/.379/.824 5 21 in 57 ABs

Obviously thats an absurd hot streak but doesn't look better then what Rowand or Babraham Nunez were doing either.

Atkins #'s for comparisons.
.328/.408/.556 29 120 in 602 ABs

Mike: The Phillies OB will be lower without Abreu this season and if they deal Burrell, lower still. Soriano had a career year last year and if he repeats it, no worries on offense. But what about his 2005 season (.309 OB, 129 Ks) or 2004 (.324 OB, 121 Ks) or 2001 (.304 OB, 125 Ks)? Can you guarantee we get the 2006 model?
Again, if you think the Phils rotation is championship caliber and they just need some bullpen help, then this discussion is moot. The board knows where I stand on that issue.

Indeed we do Clout. "Pitching, pitching, pitching" is what the Phils need and I agree with you. Still, maybe Gillick is a bit more wily than we think. I am really interested to see what happens over the next 2 weeks.

With the Red Sox likely acquiring the rights to Matsuzaka, does that make Wakefield or Clement available ? Schilling, Beckett, and Papelbon are already in the rotation, so if they sign Matsuzaka, that would give them 6 starters. I know Clement is coming off of shoulder surgery, and he is on the last year of his contract and will be a free agent in 2008. So, it seems the Sox could be looking to move him. This isn't a name I've heard mentioned , but is someone I would like to see in Philly assuming he is healthy.

Hopefully this doesn't fall into the "stupid question from a newbie" catagory, so here goes...
Can Soriano - being a former 2nd Baseman - play third?

Hopefully this doesn't fall into the "stupid question from a newbie" catagory, so here goes...
Can Soriano - being a former 2nd Baseman - play third?

Oops! Sorry! I don't know why it posted twice.

Is Papelbon really going to be in the rotation next year? That leaves the pen pretty empty, considering Foulke is gone as well. Clement is an intersting option (Wakefield is not going anywhere, he has an odd deal with Boston whereby they pretty much pay him whatever they want year-to-year).

The Phillies in-house options are really weak for 5th starter right now (in order, Brito, Madon, Floyd), so it is essential we get someone. I think it is a consensus on this board that Rowand needs to be traded for pitching. This should be Gillick's #1 priority.

mikeybloom -- living in north jersey i hear a lot about the yankees: when soriano was coming up they tried him in about 6 different possitions and they decided that 2nd base was the one he could mess up the least. his problem is that he has stone hands. that's why he gets to EVERYTHING at 2nd (and OF) but still has a lot of errors. soriano at 3rd is creative, but probably not wise.

i would definately trade for ian stewart, regardless of LH hitting or time needed to develop. we dont really need rowand and having a good 3rd base prospect is a good idea. just get an offensive stopgap to platoon w/ nuni for now and FOR SPEES SAKE FOCUS ON THE PITCHING!!!

the world-famous Tampa Bay Devil Rays have apparently won the Iwamura bid, beating out Cleveland, San Diego, and Boston -

Mikey, other people (including myself) have brought up this possibility, but I have a feeling the answer is no considering that all reports have Soriano in LF or RF. He just spent all that time adjusting to outfield, so I don't think he would opt to go somewhere where he would have to learn a new position.

Clout, I was hoping for Ramirez, but I think Soriano's the next best option. Even if he trends back toward previous season's numbers, he's still going to provide MUCH better protection than Howard had this year. So again, I think the offense will be fine even if we get a slightly-less-than-2006 model of Soriano.

I didn't really say anything about the rotation. Of course there's room for improvement. I think they'll get outbid for any of the top free agent starters, which is why I suggested seeing if they can swing Rowand for pitching (i.e. a starter). It keeps coming out that Chicago wants him back, so that's a possibility.

The bullpen needs upgrades as well, and it's the spot where they are more likely to bring in a good free agent like Borowski.

The Phillies could also be looking at Jeff Baker from Colorado. I don't know a lot about him, but he can hit for power and got into a number of games late in the season. He was converted from third base to outfield this season and hit 20 homers in AAA. He's a right-handed hitter.

I think it's foolish to sign Soriano, I state why in the link on my name(too long to recount here). The basics:

1. Alfonso Soriano is overrated.
2. Alfonso Soriano has no position on this team.
3. Just 3 months ago the Phillies were dumping a no-trade clause, and got nowhere near value.
4. The Phillies have more important needs.

I like Baker the best from COL considering cost. He apparently has the least pedigree and I read from that they are considering using him as a super sub at the corners. They like Atkins Holliday Helton Hawpe as their middle of the order and Baker would spell them.
It is Coors and COL springs but I don't think anyone would sneeze at 20 HRs from a RH 3B whose 25 year old. Stewart has some claims on there of being their top prospect and so forth, so he probably would be difficult to acquire.

Was he converted because of Atkins and Stewart or because he had stone hands and no range?

Here's something. The Mariners and Phillies both have 3B problems. The Mariners, a few years ago, signed someone to a huge contract coming off a MVP-like season, but who'd been viewed for years as a top player. This is, of course, Adrian Beltre, and he has, of course, reverted to his pre-walk year form. In 2006, we have the Phillies, looking for more offense, offering huge amounts of money to someone coming off an MVP like season, which is unprecedented in the player's record... lets hope they don't make the same mistake.

Bold Predictation: Iwamura's slugging doesn't top .400 this year.

Beltre's Career Line: .271 / .328 / .465
Beltre's 2004: .334 / .388 / .629 (!!!)

Soriano's Career Line:.280 / .325 / .510
Soriano's 2006: .277 / .351 / .560

One of these things is not like the other thing.

Maverick, Dave X, Thrillhouse, MikeyBloom, Gramps, or anyone who's new to the site: Just wanted to issue a hearty Beerleaguer hello. Welcome to the discussion and enjoy your stay.

maverick: Your Beltre/Soriano comparison omits a very important factor: age. Beltre's 1st 200 MLB plate appearances came at age 19 and he played regularly thereafter, slowly developing.
Soriano's 1st 200 plate appearances came at age 25, when a player doesn't have a lot of development time left.
The M's rolled the dice on Beltre who had a career year at age 25, while a player generally peaks at ages 27-30. So they gambled that his breakout year foreshadowed better things. He stunk last year, his first year in a new league, but at his age the jury is still out on whether this was a mistake. His age tells us he still has time to develop.
Soriano begins next season at age 31. I believe he will revert to his career line.

I liked him and thought given his age perhaps he was a gamble and at worst was david bell with a higher AVG. And any of the supposed Asian market benefits that came with him.

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