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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Yankees designate Alfonso Soriano for assignment

As I said yesterday about Soriano… “but after kinda embarrassing Jeter today defensively, the end might be near.”

The Yankees have designated outfielder Alfonso Soriano for assignment, manager Joe Girardi announced. The team now has 10 days to trade, release or waive him.

Soriano, 38, has hit only .221/.244/.367 (68 OPS+) with six home runs in 238 plate appearances this season. He had been relegated to platoon duty with Ichiro Suzuki getting most of the starts in right field.

The Yankees re-acquired Soriano from the Cubs at the trade deadline last summer, and he hit .256/.325/.525 (131 OPS+) with 17 homers and 50 RBI in 58 games after the deal. Chicago is paying $13 million of his $18 million salary this year. New York still owes him that last $5 million.

Soriano is in the final year of his massive eight-year., $138 million contract. He has indicated he will consider retirement after the season, especially if he had a poor year. This certainly qualifies as a poor year. Another team could sign him for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum once he inevitably clears waivers and is released.

 

Repoz Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 125 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4744729)
Even though it might not raise the OPS of the team by even .001, this is still a deeply satisfying development. I only wish they could assign him to a raft somewhere in the South Pacific.
   2. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4744733)
Let's all say it together.....
   3. McCoy Posted: July 06, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4744736)
Nate Schierholtz is available?
   4. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4744763)
Would be an upgrade fir the cubs and tbey are paying him anyway.
   5. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4744768)
#4 is is brilliant. Misspellings and all. They almost make it better, actually.

It's as though Theo is drunk and trying to salvage his reputation. Trying to convince the owners to spend money they won't give him...
   6. Into the Void Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4744769)
Will he be remembered as a True Yankee?
   7. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 06, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4744774)
Would be an upgrade fir the cubs and tbey are paying him anyway.

The sad truth is that this probably isn't true. Schierholtz isn't likely to be much worse as a hitter, and he's a better fielder.

   8. boteman Posted: July 06, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4744786)
But does Schierholtz do that little hop before he makes a catch??? NO! Case closed.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: July 06, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4744787)
I only wish they could assign him to a raft somewhere in the South Pacific.


With a hungry tiger on board, perhaps?
   10. DA Baracus Posted: July 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4744791)
Frank Wren please notice that this type of roster move exists.
   11. Captain Supporter Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4744802)
Addition by subtraction. But at one time it really was fun to watch him swing the bat and steal bases, although it was never fun to watch him field
   12. Ziggy Posted: July 06, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4744803)
The south pacific is actually pretty nice. But the north pacific now, icebergs man, icebergs
   13. JRVJ Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4744812)
Soriano was an odd player, in that he was very good a couple of years, but he never really lived up to his potential.
   14. bobm Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4744816)
he was very good a couple of years at first , but he never really lived up to his potential went too far

FTFY :)
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4744817)
Soriano was an odd player, in that he was very good a couple of years, but he never really lived up to his potential.

Tough crowd.

8400 PAs, 112 OPS+, 412 HRs, 27 WAR.

That's a hell of a career.
   16. Blastin Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4744818)
Indeed. He deserves to take a bow for all he got out of his talent. No, not nearly a HOFer, but just because he wasn't one of the best ever doesn't mean he's some kind of joke.

Godspeed, Sori.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4744830)
Indeed. He deserves to take a bow for all he got out of his talent. No, not nearly a HOFer, but just because he wasn't one of the best ever doesn't mean he's some kind of joke.

Godspeed, Sori.


Yeah, it seems likes there's some sort of HoF or bust mindset going around.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4744831)
I only wish they could assign him to a raft somewhere in the South Pacific.

With a hungry tiger on board, perhaps?


Not really. Just a slider or two that's about two and a half feet beyond the raft's edge. Nothing personal. (smile)

-------------------------------------------------------------

8400 PAs, 112 OPS+, 412 HRs, 27 WAR.

That's a hell of a career.


16 seasons, 27.1 WAR is almost the definition of mediocrity, at least for a player at Soriano's pay scale. Not to mention a postseason OPS of .562 with 53 K's in 174 postseason AB's. I'm sorry, but as a Yankee fan my lasting memory of him is that 2003 World Series, with those 89 strikeouts and 767 runners left on base.

Here's a slightly more objective look at Soriano: With about 500 more games under his belt than the injury-plagued Brian Roberts, he's got fewer WAR than Roberts does, while "earning" nearly $100,000,000 more.



   19. Natty Fan Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4744832)
Enormously entertaining year for the Nats in 2006. That 40/40 season is the most recent, and Sori is the only member of the 40/40 club not linked to steroids, for whatever that's worth.

Three things I remember from watching him in RFK that season: 1) RFK was a terrible place to hit home runs, and a lot of Nats players were skeptical that anyone could hit them to the upper deck where Frank Howard used to. Is hit saw him hit what appeared to be a straight shot six rows up into the empty seats of the upper deck over left field. He had more than a few impressive shots that season. 2) 2006 was the season he switched to LF, and it was sometimes an adventure. In a game against the Pirates, he let a softly hit ball get by him, and the runner decided to take second. Sori caught up to it, spun around, and fired a rope to second. There where gasps in my section, then applause. The ball beat the runner by two steps. 3) Until I saw him in person, I never knew that he drew that line in the dirt with his bat before settling in for the first pitch. My friend and I took to calling it "línea de la muerte." Good times.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4744834)
16 seasons, 27.1 WAR is almost the definition of mediocrity, at least for a player at Soriano's pay scale. Not to mention a postseason OPS of .562 with 53 K's in 174 postseason AB's. I'm sorry, but as a Yankee fan my lasting memory of him is that 2003 World Series, with those 89 strikeouts and 767 runners left on base.

Here's a slightly more objective look at Soriano: With about 500 more games under his belt than the injury-plagued Brian Roberts, he's got fewer WAR than Roberts does, while "earning" nearly $100,000,000 more.


He's 50th in career HRs. That's a damn sight better than mediocre.

What difference does it make what someone decided to pay him?
   21. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4744837)
8400 PAs, 112 OPS+, 412 HRs, 27 WAR.
Nearly 300 steals, too.

He'll catch on somewhere this year. His post-trade performance last year was something to behold.
   22. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4744839)
I'd imagine Soriano has a spot on the All-"Never Throw This Guy a Fastball Under Any Circumstances" Team.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4744840)
Here's a slightly more objective look at Soriano: With about 500 more games under his belt than the injury-plagued Brian Roberts, he's got fewer WAR than Roberts does, while "earning" nearly $100,000,000 more.

He's 50th in career HRs. That's a damn sight better than mediocre.


I wonder how many of the 49 players above him had only 27 WAR.

He'll catch on somewhere this year. His post-trade performance last year was something to behold.

I just hope he catches on with the Red Sox or the Blue Jays, so he can start paying the Yankees back for the past three months.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4744842)
I'd imagine Soriano has a spot on the All-"Never Throw This Guy a Fastball Under Any Circumstances" Team.

Watching Soriano chase breaking pitches two feet outside was like watching a dog trying to catch his tail.
   25. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 06, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4744843)
Obviously anybody who got 8,395 plate appearances in the major leagues is a very good player, period.

Of course when you compare him with other players with 8,200-8,600 PA, well...not so much.

EDIT: At least he's better than Lloyd Waner.
   26. McCoy Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4744844)
I have a hard time believing Alfredo Griffin was a very good player. Hell, he wasn't even a very good minor leaguer.
   27. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4744849)
Fangraphs has Soriano at 38 WAR, 11 more than BR. 10 of the wins are due to defensive rating. That's a massive swing, and paints a very different picture of a player. A five-year non-consecutive peak of 25 WAR is pretty great.
   28. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4744851)
Hank Aaron against the fastball, Aaron Hicks against the slider. Still loved watching him.
   29. McCoy Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4744853)
Shouldn't that just be Pedro Serrano in both cases?
   30. kthejoker Posted: July 06, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4744855)
I wonder how many of the 49 players above him had only 27 WAR.


A couple of names off the top of my head: Dave Kingman, 17.3 WAR, and Adam Dunn, 16.6 WAR.

I think everyone else has more than him, without thinking too hard about it.
   31. rufus was here Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4744860)
Watching Soriano chase breaking pitches two feet outside was like watching a dog trying to catch his tail.


This.

HItting a baseball is a very hard thing to do. Especially in the major leagues. But somehow, when Soriano is thrown a breaking ball that is two feet outside, and he repeatedly swings wildly at it, all of us amateurs' watching think, "What the f--k are you doing swinging at that?"
   32. Walt Davis Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4744863)
WTF is your problem Andy?

You can add 7 AS games to his list of achievements.

He was within 5 WAR of ARam, Renteria, Galarraga, Gary Matthews Sr, Bonilla, Tino, Baylor, McRae, Chambliss, Carlos Lee & Lee May. He's above Horton, Garrett Anderson, Michael Young, Tony Taylor, Bowa, Zeile, Joe Carter, Dunn, Pierre, Ruben Sierra. (All of those with 8000+ PA ... can't see any reason to place an upper limit on that. Prefer WAA ... how about Baines 1.6 career WAA, Soriano .6? Tino again at 1.2, Chambliss at -1.5. He's light years ahead of Dunn and Carter.

Andy, I hope you despise Tino and Chambliss as much as you seem to despise Soriano.

EDIT: If anybody should be "upset" by Soriano, it should be us Cub fans since "we" paid him all that money. But we seem to mostly like the guy. Always played hard, never complained, other than 2009 always seemed to somehow overcome a horrific start to post an OK season. The Yanks got the good stuff for practically nothing.
   33. JRVJ Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4744870)
15 & 16, never said Soriano was a joke nor did I not appreciate his career.

However, Soriano was talented enough that one almost gets the impression that he should have achieved more.

Doesn't make him a bad guy, doesn't make him a failure or anything along those lines. Just a little disappointing, that's all.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4744872)
16 seasons, 27.1 WAR is almost the definition of mediocrity, at least for a player at Soriano's pay scale. Not to mention a postseason OPS of .562 with 53 K's in 174 postseason AB's. I'm sorry, but as a Yankee fan my lasting memory of him is that 2003 World Series, with those 89 strikeouts and 767 runners left on base.


This is a fanboy analysis of the player. (Tell us again how you don't care about the home run records of your boyhood idols.) 27 WAR is top 925 of all time, which is a very respectable career. Soriano was a .270 hitter who didn't walk much so his OBP was less than league average, but he had good power -- a .500 SLG in a league environment of .427. Well, hell, his 112 career OPS+ sums it up just fine. As a 2B and corner OF in 2000 games played that's above mediocre for his career, better if b-r's slandering of his defense is too harsh. Most players don't make it that far or perform that well.

He had four very good years, and then a lot of seasons ranging from mediocre down to bad. But even if one concludes that he was generally a mediocre player from year to year, in a career of 2,000 games that's a good career. People make this mistake all the time with players, e.g. concluding that a pitcher who posted a league average ERA+ for in a career of 3,000 innings was "mediocre," when actually he had a very good career.

BTW, iIt sort of feels odd to be defending Soriano; I've pointed out for a long time that he's been overrated, and I was one who pointed out that the people who thought his 131 OPS+ with the Yankees last year was representative of his true talent level were being silly, and I also pointed out before the season that people were not taking into account that he is now 38 years old. But being overrated -- as he was during the first half of his career -- is not the same as being mediocre.

In any event, as is not uncommon with Yankees fans, a player's career worth boils down to what he did in the playoffs, 1,975 other games be damned.

Here's a slightly more objective look at Soriano: With about 500 more games under his belt than the injury-plagued Brian Roberts, he's got fewer WAR than Roberts does, while "earning" nearly $100,000,000 more.


What he earned has nothing to do with whether he had a mediocre career.
   35. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4744873)
However, Soriano was talented enough that one almost gets the impression that he should have achieved more.

yes--zactly--Soriano has 27 WAR according to BRef--but 20.6 of that came in 4 seasons out of 16 (not consecutive). So he would give you a taste of a 5 WAR per season player, but outside of those seasons he was a 0.5 WAR player
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4744875)
WTF is your problem Andy?

You can add 7 AS games to his list of achievements.


And Derek Jeter won 5 Gold Gloves.

He was within 5 WAR of ARam, Renteria, Galarraga, Gary Matthews Sr, Bonilla, Tino, Baylor, McRae, Chambliss, Carlos Lee & Lee May. He's above Horton, Garrett Anderson, Michael Young, Tony Taylor, Bowa, Zeile, Joe Carter, Dunn, Pierre, Ruben Sierra. (All of those with 8000+ PA ... can't see any reason to place an upper limit on that. Prefer WAA ... how about Baines 1.6 career WAA, Soriano .6? Tino again at 1.2, Chambliss at -1.5. He's light years ahead of Dunn and Carter.

Andy, I hope you despise Tino and Chambliss as much as you seem to despise Soriano.


In case you haven't figured it out by now, Walt, my reaction to Soriano is primarily visceral, though for someone with his alleged talent his career stats were nothing to write home about. A 112 OPS+ for someone who spent most of his career as a LFer just isn't that big a deal. I can't stand high strikeout hitters with no plate discipline, and who don't produce in the postseason. If Brian Roberts had remained healthy throughout his career, I would've taken him over Soriano any day.

EDIT: If anybody should be "upset" by Soriano, it should be us Cub fans since "we" paid him all that money. But we seem to mostly like the guy.

Given that Cub fans have been loving mediocrity for the past 70 years, any love they might have for Soriano hardly surprises me, though the .343 and .143 postseason OPS numbers** that he put up as a Cuddly Cubbie surprises me even less. He was a Chevy ballplayer with a BMW contract.

OTOH I understand he speaks several languages, including Japanese. So there's that. I don't really hate the guy, I just like him a lot better when he goes fishing two feet out of the strike zone in a Cubs costume rather than in Satan's pajamas.

**4 singles and 1 walk in 29 PA's, to be exact, with 8 productive strikeouts as the frosting on the fold.
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4744878)
In case you haven't figured it out by now, Walt, my reaction to Soriano is primarily visceral, though for someone with his alleged talent his career stats were nothing to write home about. A 112 OPS+ for someone who spent most of his career as a LFer just isn't that big a deal. I can't stand high strikeout hitters with no plate discipline, and who don't produce in the postseason. If Brian Roberts had remained healthy throughout his career, I would've taken him over Soriano any day.


You do realize that a healthy Brian Roberts is not the borderline between good and bad, right? A healthy Brian Roberts is a great ####### player.

Soriano had a damn good career. He had a major flaw in his game, just as so many others before him had. He never learned how to lay off the pitch low and away. Unless there's evidence that he never tried to learn, which I seriously doubt exists, then it's no different than any other kind of flaw that plagues the non-HoF type player
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4744881)
16 seasons, 27.1 WAR is almost the definition of mediocrity, at least for a player at Soriano's pay scale. Not to mention a postseason OPS of .562 with 53 K's in 174 postseason AB's. I'm sorry, but as a Yankee fan my lasting memory of him is that 2003 World Series, with those 89 strikeouts and 767 runners left on base.

This is a fanboy analysis of the player.


To which in Soriano's case I cheerfully plead guilty. What of it? That's part of why we all love the game.

Jesus, you were calling on the Red Sox to fire their manager when they were about to go ahead in the World Series last year, but I'm sure you had your "objective" and non-fanboy reasons for that little tantrum.

Christ, half of BTF dumped on Robinson Cano because he didn't run out two hop grounders to the second baseman, though Soriano couldn't carry Cano's walking cane, let alone his jock strap. At least my complaints about Mr. Three Foot Wide Strike Zone concern something a bit more tangible than crap like that.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4744883)
You do realize that a healthy Brian Roberts is not the borderline between good and bad, right? A healthy Brian Roberts is a great ####### player.

Absolutely, but ask the average fan who's had a more productive career, Soriano or Roberts, and 99% of them would say it was Soriano, because chicks dig the long ball and all that crap.

A healthy Roberts would've had a great career, far more valuable than Soriano's. And an oft-injured Roberts still contributed as much to his teams on average than a healthy Senor Strikeout.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4744885)
Soriano has 27 WAR according to BRef--but 20.6 of that came in 4 seasons out of 16 (not consecutive). So he would give you a taste of a 5 WAR per season player, but outside of those seasons he was a 0.5 WAR player

The word for that used to be "cockteaser ".
   41. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4744886)
Absolutely, but ask the average fan who's had a more productive career, Soriano or Roberts, and 99% of them would say it was Soriano, because chicks dig the long ball and all that crap.


Again, as with salary, what the hell does this have to do with what kind of career Soriano put together?
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4744890)
Again, as with salary, what the hell does this have to do with what kind of career Soriano put together?

Tying up excessive money in a bloated contract** gives a team less flexibility in filling out its roster, which in turn hurts the team. That's pretty elementary.

The point about Roberts vs. Soriano is more about fans' tendency to overrate the glamor stats while blinding themselves to other factors that diminish a player's overall value.

**In the years when the player underproduces relative to the contract's implicit expectations, which in Soriano's case was fairly often.
   43. madvillain Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4744891)
what, now he's available?
   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4744892)
Hilarious to hear Michael Kay ranting on his radio show on Thursday about how Girardi shouldn't have given a day off to Ellsbury the day before. "He's got to play. You're banged up? That's not a good enough excuse. Derek Jeter is 40 years old coming off a snapped ankle and he played yesterday."

Jeter has played in 75 games and has 333 PA.

Ellsbury has played in 83 games and has 360 PA.

Only one player on the team has played in more games than Ellsbury: Gardner, who has played in 84 games and has 360 PA, the same number as Ellsbury.

Ellsbury is tied for the team lead in PA, and yet Michael Kay -- who announces for the team so should know these things -- is banging on him for missing games.
   45. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4744893)
Absolutely, but ask the average fan who's had a more productive career, Soriano or Roberts, and 99% of them would say it was Soriano, because chicks dig the long ball and all that crap.

I don't know about this. I remember watching this game in 2009, where PJ Walters struck out Soriano three times, all of them swinging of course. Walters had pretty mediocre stuff, and numbers to match his stuff; if he could make Soriano look clueless, pretty much any major league pitcher could do the same. At that point I realized I could not watch Soriano on a regular basis. He swings at so much slop that I wondered how he ever got a hit, and kinda like Jeff Francoeur, when he would do something positive, I would wonder if the opposing pitcher bothered to look at the scouting report (ETA: Soriano hit the game-winning homer in that game). I would guess a large group of other fans have had similar experiences.
   46. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4744896)
Absolutely, but ask the average fan who's had a more productive career, Soriano or Roberts, and 99% of them would say it was Soriano, because chicks dig the long ball and all that crap.


Really? Because I think most fans think like you: "I saw Soriano swing and miss at a lot of low and away sliders in the playoffs one year. MEDIOCRE!!!"
   47. base ball chick Posted: July 06, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4744906)
my favorite memory of sori is from the game 7 01 WS when he swung at a curt schilling FB, inside, at his freaking ANKLES, and sent it over the wall (and i was not rooting for his team, neither)


he sure nuff did swing and miss at all those sliders, but then again so did craig bigggio. and LOTS of other major leaguers.

he was a good player - showed up, played hard. had a very good career and doesn't have to ever worry about where his next meal coming from
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 06, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4744913)
I suppose it's unfortunate that Soriano's other baseball skills fall short of his ability to hit a fastball, but if the normally stalwart Mariano Rivera had done his usual magic in Game 7 in 2001, we'd be remembering Soriano's 8th inning HR off Schilling as one of the great moments in World Series history. <sigh> All-in-all, Soriano was a darn good player at his best, and some of his problems with the Cubs were health-related. The roster move makes sense, but the joy at the demise of an imperfect 38-year old ballplayer seems misplaced.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4744915)
I suppose it's unfortunate that Soriano's other baseball skills fall short of his ability to hit a fastball, but if the normally stalwart Mariano Rivera had done his usual magic in Game 7 in 2001, we'd be remembering Soriano's 8th inning HR off Schilling as one of the great moments in World Series history.

Okay, that's an admitted counterpoint that knocks a bit of the steam off my previous tirades. (smile)

Though Red Sox fans might think of Dave Henderson in the absence of Bill Buckner and the complete collapse of the Boston bullpen. That would've probably gotten Henderson at least as many HoF votes as Don Larsen, and maybe even gotten him elected the Mayor of Boston.
   50. DFA Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4744929)
It's a mystery to me why so many have so much vitriol for Soriano. Sure he may have been overrated, but that's not on him.
   51. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4744934)
It's a mystery to me why so many have so much vitriol for Soriano.

Really? Do you wonder why people didn't like Steve Trachsel or Kevin Youkilis or maybe Craig Counsell? It's the same concept.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:30 AM (#4744941)
Soriano will be a tremendous member of the Hall of Very Good.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4744942)
I remember watching this game in 2009, where PJ Walters struck out Soriano three times, all of them swinging of course. Walters had pretty mediocre stuff, and numbers to match his stuff; if he could make Soriano look clueless, pretty much any major league pitcher could do the same ... when he would do something positive, I would wonder if the opposing pitcher bothered to look at the scouting report


So, do you think that you and PJ Walters understood something about Soriano that many other baseball players didn't? Or do you think that maybe it wasn't quite that simple?

Soriano had a 110 OPS+ with the Cubs. He was a good hitter.
   54. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4744943)
I remember watching this game in 2009, where PJ Walters struck out Soriano three times, all of them swinging of course.


Oh, and this is too good. I actually looked up the game. Alfonso Soriano did indeed strike out three times. He also hit a game-winning homerun.
   55. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:55 AM (#4744947)
So, do you think that you and PJ Walters understood something about Soriano that many other baseball players didn't? Or do you think that maybe it wasn't quite that simple?


Yeah, chances are, Soriano just had a shitty day at the plate.
   56. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:35 AM (#4744952)
If this is it for Soriano, he'll have started his career as a member of the 1997 Hiroshima Toyo Carp with Hiroki Kuroda as a teammate, and ended it as a member of the 2014 New York Yankees with Hiroki Kuroda as a teammate.
   57. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4744955)
The point about Roberts vs. Soriano is more about fans' tendency to overrate the glamor stats while blinding themselves to other factors that diminish a player's overall value.
You've managed to blind yourself to a player's overall value and focus on how he gives you the feels, so you've got that going for you.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 07:29 AM (#4744974)
It's a mystery to me why so many have so much vitriol for Soriano.

Soriano averaged all of 2.23 WAR/162 games over the course of his career. Big whoops.

His 112 OPS+ ties him for 601st on the all-time career list. Even bigger whoops. Of active players only, he's tied for 63rd. What a man.

His 27.1 WAR is 591st all-time, 0.1 ahead of Mo Vaughn and 0.5 ahead of Russell Martin, who's played in 875 fewer games.

He's obviously not a terrible player, but it's a mystery to me why teams have been so eager to shovel so much money at him. At least the Yankees have the excuse that the Cubs were stuck with most of his latest bill.

   59. homerwannabee Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:10 AM (#4744986)
The biggest thing for me is that this should give my favorite player Ichiro Suzuki more plate appearances. His hit totals are still a tad bit too close to the probable non hall of famer with over 56 WAR outfielder Johnny Damon for my liking. 2794 to 2769.



   60. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4744989)
I wonder how many of the 49 players above him had only 27 WAR.

A couple of names off the top of my head: Dave Kingman, 17.3 WAR, and Adam Dunn, 16.6 WAR.

I think everyone else has more than him, without thinking too hard about it.
Add Paul Konerko, his 439 home runs, his 28.7 WAR, and his -4.6 WAA.

EDIT: That obviously doesn't make sense at face value. I was looking for rough comparisons, and over ~8000 PA a 1 WAR difference is basically a rounding error and well within the range of uncertainty.

That's it for players with 400+ home runs and fewer than 30 WAR.
   61. Lassus Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4745000)
Another team could sign him for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum once he inevitably clears waivers and is released.

Someone is just trolling Mets fans with this line.
   62. formerly dp Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4745005)
Someone is just trolling Mets fans with this line.
Could he be worse than the Youngs?
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4745013)
At Wrigley Field, Soriano used to signal with his fingers how many outs there were - a typical move for most ballplayers with their teammates.

But the thing is, Soriano also signaled TO THE LEFT FIELD BLEACHERS - and the fans would signal back. It felt as if he actually cared about keeping the fans up to speed. It was quite... endearing.
   64. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4745021)
Soriano would be the the best player on the Reds bench.
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4745028)
That's it for players with 400+ home runs and fewer than 30 WAR.


Andres Galarraga (399 HR, 31.5 bWAR) misses it on both ends, but probably deserves some kind of honorable mention. And Joe Carter (396 HR, 19.3 bWAR) is even closer.
   66. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4745032)
But the thing is, Soriano also signaled TO THE LEFT FIELD BLEACHERS - and the fans would signal back. It felt as if he actually cared about keeping the fans up to speed. It was quite... endearing.

He did this a lot. I remember him coming to Fenway while with the Nationals, and hanging out talking to the guy who operates the scoreboard in The Wall, leaning against the Monster while the operator hung out in the doorway. They talked and laughed and chatted for a couple of innings during the changeovers, then Soriano gave the guy a fistbump and a handshake and went back to work. it was kind of cool.
   67. McCoy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4745033)
Only one team wanted to shovel a lot of money at soriano and it had hendry at the helm. So they have a pretty good excuse for their stupidity. Soriano was also lucky enough to hit free agency when no other good free agent players were on the market so he had that going for him as well. Soriano might just be the luckiest player in baseball in terms of salary
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4745044)
Only one team wanted to shovel a lot of money at soriano and it had hendry at the helm. So they have a pretty good excuse for their stupidity. Soriano was also lucky enough to hit free agency when no other good free agent players were on the market so he had that going for him as well. Soriano might just be the luckiest player in baseball in terms of salary.

Amen to that, unless Wayne Garland had taken his windfall contract in 1977 and invested in Berkshire Hathaway.
   69. BDC Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4745050)
I was going to offer some reminiscences of Soriano's Texas years, but dang if I can remember a thing. He was an unusually low-profile player here. Hit quite well, but his defense was patchy. B-Ref thinks it was terrible, and in terms of outcome I'm sure it was, but to me he looked simply inconsistent in the field. He would make a dazzling play, or two or three in a row, and then wander around for a while halfheartedly while routine grounders went for singles, or easy DP balls turned into one-out force plays.

In retrospect he should have moved to the outfield two seasons sooner, immediately upon arrival in Arlington. Buck Showalter instead continued to go with a Godawful collection of journeymen out there, while keeping Soriano at a 2B that he couldn't really play consistently.
   70. formerly dp Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4745051)
He wouldn't look bad on the Jays right now-- their front-line OFs are solid-to-awesome (Bautista, Rasmus, Cabrera), but the backups are textbook off the scrapheap guys (Mastroianni? Gillespie? the colossal failure that is Anthony Gose), and Encarnacion just got hurt.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4745059)
Only one team wanted to shovel a lot of money at soriano and it had hendry at the helm. So they have a pretty good excuse for their stupidity. Soriano was also lucky enough to hit free agency when no other good free agent players were on the market so he had that going for him as well. Soriano might just be the luckiest player in baseball in terms of salary

The ironic thing is that Soriano wan't even a 2B at the time. Imagine what Hendry would have paid if he had stuck at second.
   72. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4745064)
Like others, I don't get the Brian Roberts comparison. Roberts was a 7 win player at his peak and a 2 time all star. Of course you'd take a healthy Roberts over Soriano.

Edit: That's a little strong. Better to say that Roberts and Soriano at their peaks were both very good players.
   73. McCoy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4745078)
Well, somebody was whispering into someone's ear that soriano could be centerfielder during his free agent of season.
   74. Brian Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4745079)
Some people seem mystified that Andy is hating on Soriano. Personally, I'm mystified that anyone is surprised about this. That's what you get with Andy: a nasty, sour old grump. Nothing new there.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4745090)
Some people seem mystified that Andy is hating on Soriano. Personally, I'm mystified that anyone is surprised about this. That's what you get with Andy: a nasty, sour old grump. Nothing new there.

And yet I've always spoken highly of you. Go figure.
   76. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4745096)
Hey, he's not so sour!
   77. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4745099)
#74 -- Touche.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4745104)
Hey, what if I agree to like Soriano on Facebook and follow him on Twitter?
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4745107)
Some people seem mystified that Andy is hating on Soriano. Personally, I'm mystified that anyone is surprised about this. That's what you get with Andy: a nasty, sour old grump. Nothing new there.


I don't think he's a nasty, sour old grump. I just think he is a fanboy, through and through, and thus unable to analyze players he is biased for/against objectively. This includes not only talent level but more abstract issues such as the difference between steroids and amps. It's why I've concluded that what is driving his irrational steroids/amps analysis is boyhood idols.
   80. AROM Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4745118)
Soriano and Roberts have/had extreme differences in player skills, but the total package comes out about the same - very good players, not great.

Roberts was actually a bit overpaid - he gave the Orioles tremendous value during his cheap years, but pretty much nothing after signing the extension that kept him away from free agency.

Soriano was greatly overpaid. He was a good player who got paid as if he was a top of the line superstar. Thank you Cubs, because the Angels were rumored to be in on that deal. Luckily for them they only had to stick themselves with the GMjr contract, wasting 80 million fewer dollars. That came in handy a few years later when they wasted about 80 million on Vernon Wells.

Wait a minute, never mind. Getting Soriano in 2007 doesn't look so bad if it means those moves never happened.

The money doesn't really matter in assessing the quality of his career though. Sure, it was a dumb contract. But I can't blame Soriano for signing it once the Cubs offered it.
   81. BDC Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4745126)
a good player who got paid as if he was a top of the line superstar

That sounds right to me. Luckily for him, Soriano was good at two of the most glamorous things a position player can do: hit HR and steal bases. He led the league four times in Power/Speed Number, and the components certainly impressed his employers.
   82. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4745162)
I don't think he's a nasty, sour old grump.

Hey, thanks, sport!

I just think he is a fanboy, through and through, and thus unable to analyze players he is biased for/against objectively. This includes not only talent level but more abstract issues such as the difference between steroids and amps. It's why I've concluded that what is driving his irrational steroids/amps analysis is boyhood idols.

So I guess that everyone who sees steroids/amps distinctions is just a fanboy for the Good Old Days, including any current player who wasn't even alive during the careers of Roger Maris or Hank Aaron.

And never mind that I've repeatedly ridiculed the idea that baseball during the M&M era was comparable to what we have today. Never mind that in spite of my views on steroids, I still rate Barry Bonds as one of the two greatest players in history (along with Ruth), easily ahead of my "boyhood idol" Mickey Mantle, and comfortably ahead of Hank Aaron. I'm sure that you've got some "objective" explanation for all that.

As for Soriano, let's just say that he couldn't hold your bete jaune Ichiro's jock strap, even though he's likeable enough.
   83. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4745230)
Fangraphs has Soriano at 38 WAR, 11 more than BR. 10 of the wins are due to defensive rating. That's a massive swing, and paints a very different picture of a player. A five-year non-consecutive peak of 25 WAR is pretty great.

There are some huge seasonal differences in the fielding. E.g. - BBref has him as -26 in his last year in Texas, while FG has him at "only" -14. Next year (first season in LF, iirc) in Washington, he's a zero per FG and +18 in BBref. About the same in Chicago the next year - according to BB-ref. He jumps to +28 in FG.

I recall Jeter saying once that Soriano was the best 2B he played with, "easy." This was years after he was traded.
   84. BDC Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4745255)
I recall Jeter saying once that Soriano was the best 2B he played with

But if he was comparing him mainly to Chuck Knoblauch, that's like saying "the fastest draft horse" or "the best actor on Star Trek Voyager."
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4745257)
I recall Jeter saying once that Soriano was the best 2B he played with, "easy." This was years after he was traded.

Jeter and Sori are close personal friends. It's hardly surprising that he would say that. And by every metric, Sori was a mediocre second baseman at best. Even his FP% at 2B was 10 points below the league average. (.971 to .981)
   86. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4745259)
If CC is done for the year, with this DFA it adds up to about $50 million of payroll (and $60 million of players) who will not be playing for the Bombers this year.

Could any team absorb this kind of crippling payroll hit?
   87. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4745277)
It's a mystery to me why so many have so much vitriol for Soriano.


Sori always looked to me like a guy who was just gonna collapse like Frenchy did, if he lost 1/100th of his bat speed it'd be all over...

Then one year I decided I was wrong, and traded for him in my Roto league (forget real baseball, Sori was a legitimate fantasy baseball superstar)
that was 2009....

Bleech, but even I don't hate him like Andy does...
   88. AROM Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4745283)
Could any team absorb this kind of crippling payroll hit?


Yankees did last year. For Youkilis, Granderson, Jeter, Tex, and A-Rod, they spent 94 million to get about one season's worth of PA (just under 600) and a total of 0.5 WAR. Sure, they all played a bit, but Yankees would have been no worse off if they collectively didn't play a single game.

   89. PepTech Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4745301)
the best actor on Star Trek Voyager
The doctor. Easily.

That being said, Seven of Nine.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4745309)
The doctor. Easily.

That being said, Seven of Nine.


Oh please God, no. Not a Star Trek thread. I beg you.
   91. Zach Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4745332)
Voyager is an interesting example of a brand killer. I really enjoyed Next Generation when it was on, and dutifully watched the first couple of seasons of Deep Space Nine. Then Voyager came out, and suddenly I wasn't interested any more. It wasn't so much a conscious decision as simply moving on to other things. My brother was also a scifi nut, and he had the same reaction.

At the time they were on, the first two shows had strong claims to being the best scifi shows currently airing. Once The X-Files hit its stride, you couldn't say that any more, and the brand suffered.
   92. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4745339)
Oh please God, no. Not a Star Trek thread. I beg you.


Too late. Once anybody rings up Star Trek it's all over, the Star Trek nerds will swarm the thread like locusts.
   93. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4745342)
To bring it back to baseball, since this qualifies as a Yankee thread I wuz wondering if Andy wanted to comment on the status of his Yangervis Solarte for the All Star game campaign.
   94. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4745353)
Jeter and Sori are close personal friends. It's hardly surprising that he would say that. And by every metric, Sori was a mediocre second baseman at best. Even his FP% at 2B was 10 points below the league average. (.971 to .981)

Oh, I wasn't trying to defend Soriano's fielding. Just wanted to add some Jeter vitriol to balance out the Soriano vitriol.
   95. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4745366)
To bring it back to baseball, since this qualifies as a Yankee thread I wuz wondering if Andy wanted to comment on the status of his Yangervis Solarte for the All Star game campaign.


Yengervis has been solights out, the Yankees don't need A-Rod!
   96. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4745371)
That's what you get with Andy: a nasty, sour old grump. Nothing new there.

This seems a bit unfair. How do we know Andy wasn't a nasty, sour grump when he was young? [smile]

   97. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4745382)
To bring it back to baseball, since this qualifies as a Yankee thread I wuz wondering if Andy wanted to comment on the status of his Yangervis Solarte for the All Star game campaign.

Well, at the rate he was going before being sent down, he's more likely to be a future teammate of Carl Pavano and Javier Vazquez.

But hey, he was fun while he lasted.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Jeter and Sori are close personal friends. It's hardly surprising that he would say that. And by every metric, Sori was a mediocre second baseman at best. Even his FP% at 2B was 10 points below the league average. (.971 to .981)

Oh, I wasn't trying to defend Soriano's fielding. Just wanted to add some Jeter vitriol to balance out the Soriano vitriol.


Now that's my kind of Primate! Give yourself a gold star glove and a gift basket.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4745387)
I don't get why Yanks fans would dislike Soriano. He was a terrific player for them. Wasn't he?
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4745413)
I don't get why Yanks fans would dislike Soriano. He was a terrific player for them. Wasn't he?

Yes. I think it's just Andy.
   100. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4745417)

I haven't followed Soriano's career that closely since his time with the Yankees, but I agree with those who think we should appreciate the good things he brought to the table rather than dwell on his weaknesses. While he struck me as someone who didn't fully live up to his potential, he was a very good and at times great ballplayer. The main things I think about when his name is brought up are:

1) This article from 2002, which I really enjoyed at the time (I now realize it was by Jeff Pearlman). It talks about Soriano's somewhat unconventional route to the majors, the incredible season he was having at the time, and his prodigious ice cream eating.

2) That home run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, which as someone earlier noted would have gone down as an all-time clutch playoff moment if the Yankees had held on to win the game.

3) Remember when a lot of sabermetric analysts thought that D'Angelo Jimenez was going to be better than Soriano?

4) Soriano was the main piece that went to the Rangers in the A-Rod trade. They both declined that first year with their new clubs, but the Rangers improved dramatically and the writers erroneously gave some of the credit for that to the trade.

5) Particularly in his early years, Soriano really was exciting to watch. He *looked* incredibly athletic, and reminded one more of the body types and power-speed threats of the 1980s than the lumbering sluggers of the '90s and '00s. I understand why people were excited by his potential, and disappointed when he ended up being merely an above average player instead of the HOFer that he looked like he had the talent to become.
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