The Cubs may finally be poised to trade Alfonso Soriano, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, who lists the Phillies as an "obvious fit." Should they indeed make a run at the 36-year-old outfielder?
Soriano has a full no-trade clause and $36 million remaining on his contract, which runs out after the 2014 season. He's a notoriously free swinger who wouldn't be ideal in a Phillies lineup that doesn't have the greatest plate discipline, but his power and righthanded bat could be welcomed at the right price.
Soriano hit .262/.322/.499 last season with 32 homers and a career-high 108 RBI. That kind of power is something the Phillies won't be able to find in a free agent centerfielder (unless they push for Josh Hamilton), or a free agent third baseman. The Phils were linked to Angel Pagan earlier in the week, and while he would bring gap power, speed and a good eye from both sides, he has 15 home runs combined over the last two seasons.
Soriano hasn't come close to living up to his eight-year, $136-million contract with the Cubs, but that wouldn't matter to the Phillies. In any trade, the Cubs would be looking to dump salary in order to get back a legitimate prospect ... that's just Theo Epstein's style.
The only position Soriano can play is left field, and he's not a good defender. Dealing for him would likely force the Phillies to either platoon him with Domonic Brown in left or play Brown in right, where his defensive instincts still aren't developed.
The other downside is that it might stunt the growth of Darin Ruf, who really only fits in with this team as a leftfielder. Soriano is what Ruf is not, though -- a proven power bat.
Chicago needs help in plenty of ways, so the Phillies' gaggle of pitching prospects could be attractive in a deal for Soriano if the Phils try to address their power situation through a trade.