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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nats - Acquired Soriano

Washington Nationals - Acquired 2B Alfonso Soriano from the Texas Rangers for OF Brad Wilkerson, OF Termel Sledge, and a player to be named.

Wow, this is an awful trade for the Nats.  Soriano’s terrible at 2nd, they already have Vidro, and in the outfield, he’s not really any better than Brad Wilkerson as a hitter.  Plus, they get to pay a lot of money for the one year of Soriano they get.  W00t.

Now, one can argue that the Rangers still need a 2B, but given the leather they had there in 2005, they needed a 2B anyway.  Thumbs up for the Rangers.  If they can now land Scott Baker for Blalock, that’ll be one nice week of general managerization.

2006 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Sledge     351 40   94 18 5 14 55 37 58   2 .268 .337 .467
Soriano     640 85 159 35 3 27 79 35 130 24 .248 .295 .439
Wilkerson   554 99 155 44 4 24 102 94 148   9 .280 .387 .504

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2005 at 05:50 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Grunthos Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:21 AM (#1766960)
Wow, the OBP differential is even worse than I expected.

Furthermore, if Sledge realizes that projection in something close to a full season, then the Nats will have acquired Soriano for two players who are each better than him.
   2. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:24 AM (#1766970)
I am not so sure that Blalock for Baker owuld be a godo trade for the Rangers. but then I think I am more bullish on Blalock putting it together soon than most.
   3. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:27 AM (#1766985)
Like I said in the other thread, I'm predicting a Cubs/Rangers trade right quick. It'll probably be for Mench, but I hoping it can still be for Wilkerson.

Jerome Williams is headed to the Rangers. Not sure for whom yet, or who else is joining him (Todd Walker is really, really likely).
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:29 AM (#1766991)
Why the #### would the Nationals ever do something like this? God that's mind boggling.

Do the Rangers move Young back to second now? I don't know what their options are right now. Sweet trade for them though.
   5. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:44 AM (#1767045)
Congratulations to the Nationals on their NL East title.
   6. VegasRobb Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:45 AM (#1767048)
Nice job by the Rangers I think. I wonder if Soriano is destined to finish the offseason in Washington.
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:46 AM (#1767050)
Wilkerson to the Yankees for Pavano makes all kinds of sense, too.

I don't want to see Jermoe Williams in the American League any more than I want to watch "Face-eating Tumor."
   8. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: December 08, 2005 at 06:50 AM (#1767061)
Wow! Is Soriano going to be look terrible at RFK?

Todd Walker to the Rangers now?
   9. DCW3 Posted: December 08, 2005 at 10:02 AM (#1767245)
I'm sure people are sick of hearing about the Mojo projections by now, but I like to report it whenever they spit out something unexpected: Wilkerson projects for 93 walks, the most of anyone in the AL. (It's a rather low number to lead the league both because of regression to the mean and because there really haven't been many consistently good walkers in the AL the past few years.)
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2005 at 10:46 AM (#1767256)
93 walks, the most of anyone in the AL. (It's a rather low number to lead the league

Eric Chavez led the AL with 95 in 2004, and he only played in 125 games. In 2005, 93 would have finished 3rd. So it's plausible it could lead the league in 2006.
   11. DCW3 Posted: December 08, 2005 at 10:57 AM (#1767258)
So it's plausible it could lead the league in 2006.

Indeed--although the next best AL projection belongs to Jason Giambi, with 85 walks (in only 498 PAs).
   12. Excel Hearts Choi Posted: December 08, 2005 at 01:24 PM (#1767281)
Todd Walker, are you crazy? They have Ian Kinsler, whom Will Carroll called the fifth best prospect in the game. With two good outfielders coming in this trade, the Rangers have a lot of options. Basically, Jason Botts, Adrian Gonzalez, Dellucci, Laynce Nix, and Mench could be mixed and matched either in trades or in platoons in the outfield and DH. Nix really needs a full season at AAA though, as he went too quickly through the system.
   13. NTNgod Posted: December 08, 2005 at 01:28 PM (#1767284)
They have Ian Kinsler, <strike>whom Will Carroll called the fifth best prospect in the game</strike>.

Around these parts, you're probably better off leaving that last part out. :)
   14. DiggerP Posted: December 08, 2005 at 02:19 PM (#1767306)
As a Washington DC native who still roots for the Orioles, I decided that it would be more fun to hate the Nats, than to root for them half-heartedly. And nothing makes that easier than Jim Bowden.

The Oracle talks about how good this is for the Rangers, but where in the world is Soriano going to play for the Nats? They have 16 second basemen now. And how ticked off is he going to be heading into, I believe, his contract year?

Does anyone know anything about the pitching prospect the Nats threw in?
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: December 08, 2005 at 02:26 PM (#1767313)
I'm hoping the Cubs work a deal with the Rangers too, but I don't know why the Rangers would trade Wilkerson. Which annoys me--I can't believe the Cubs couldn't have offered something better than this for Wilkerson.
   16. Honkie Kong Posted: December 08, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1767321)
Location : Unnamed Hotel Lobby in Dallas, Tx.

Jimbo : Hey there, young man. Which way is the conference room?
J.D : I am also a GM, Mr.Bowden. Jon Daniels, Tx.
< Jimbo, with cunning look and lusty look in his eye >
Jimbo : Oh welcome to the fraternity, young man. Forgert the conference, lets go have a drink.
J.D : < poker face>, sure
Couple of drinks later..
Jimbo : so, young man, what plans do you have for your team? what does your computer tell you?
J.D : I am so confused. I have no idea, what advice would you give Mr.Bowden?
Jimbo < rubbing hands in glee > : umm lemme see. You know that guy, Soriano. What about him, you going to sign him?
J.D : I don't know. Are you interested?
Jimbo : umm, not really, do you know any of my players?
J.D : There is that Wilkerson chap
Jimbo : hmm...you want Wilkerson for Soriano, really?
J.D : < slows down> yea, maybe should toss a prospect in.
Jimbo < Red in the face and all excited > : Sure, I will toss a prospect in..I am doing you a favour, son, taking that contract.
J.D : Sure..hmm. BUt Soriano is an All Star. I dont know if my boss will like this.
Jimbo : Fine. ONe more player. will throw in another toolsy OF. I hate to do that, but to helpa young man out..
Jimbo leaves, feeling mighty pleased wih himself.
J.D : Next round on me, everyone! drink up
   17. Dizzypaco Posted: December 08, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1767322)
Anyone else notice how many similarities there are between Soriano and Juan Samuel? Both had lots of "tools", hit a bunch of home runs and were real fast. Both were really bad second basemen, making them not very valuable defensively, and neither got on base, making them questionable offensively (and didn't have as much power as people said they did).

In 1989, the Mets traded Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell for Juan Samuel, with the intentions of putting Samuel in center field. It was one of the dumbest trades ever, given that Dykstra was better both offensively and defensively, by a mile. Not surprisingly, the trade totally bombed for the Mets. If the Nats put Soriano in center, I'm betting on a repeat.
   18. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:00 PM (#1767348)
Diz-p, good connection. A little more speed for Samuel, a little more power for Soriano. After the first year or so, absolutely no improvement in their games.
The first couple of years, Samuel had breathtaking times to first -- kind of like Taveras of the Astros. But like the ground ball just past a diving Jeter, Samuel was always out by a half a step. He probably hit the ball too hard!
The Phils had Sandberg, Franco and Samuel all in the farm system at the same time and managed to pick Samuel as their keeper.
   19. chris p Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:04 PM (#1767351)
so is soriano moving to the outfield? that would fit right in with bowden's toolsy outfielder fetish.
   20. Spahn Insane Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1767352)
The Phils had Sandberg, Franco and Samuel all in the farm system at the same time and managed to pick Samuel as their keeper.

Well, at least they flipped him for Dykstra.
   21. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 08, 2005 at 04:59 PM (#1767579)
I'm hoping the Cubs work a deal with the Rangers too, but I don't know why the Rangers would trade Wilkerson. Which annoys me--I can't believe the Cubs couldn't have offered something better than this for Wilkerson.

They probably did offer better, but the Nats were entranced by the name "Soriano".
   22. Morph Posted: December 08, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1768491)
Honestly, I'd be suprised if Soriano stays in Washington. I'd look for him to get traded somewhere else before Spring Training, because if one actually stops and analyzes the move, it makes absolutely no sense from a wide variety of angles.

1. Soriano doesn't want 2 play the OF for Texas, so what makes Bowden think he's going to do it in D.C.?
2. Although I think his Texas home/road splits are slightly over blown [remember, he did fine in Yankee Stadium, and I doubt his skills could have corroded that quickly] RFK is no hitter's park. So basically, Bowden traded for a definite declining offensive player [in D.C.] that plays a position already filled, and by the way, doesn't want to play the only position available.
3. Brad Wilkerson could have netted a starter.
4. Terrmel Sledge has a really cool baseball name.

I wish Jim Bowden got his hands on the Boston GM job.
   23. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: December 08, 2005 at 11:29 PM (#1768519)
I think Jim Bowden has been suffering a series of mini-strokes over the last several years, which is why his moves just seem to get dumber and dumber.
   24. NBarnes Posted: December 09, 2005 at 06:22 AM (#1769188)
Boston doesn't appear to need a GM. Certainly, they don't appear to need Bowden.
   25. JPWF13 Posted: December 09, 2005 at 04:15 PM (#1769584)
It's been said before, but wow does that projection for Soriano look bad.

But, here's Soriano 2005: .268/.309/.512 (36-104)
here's Soriano 2005 in a "neutral" park: .265/.306/.490
(no not Soriano's road numbers- adjusted using Texas' park factors)
Here's Soriano 2005 in RFK: .250/.293/.459

Zoinks, suddenly that Zips disaster looks reasonable...
   26. shoewizard Posted: February 07, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#1853360)
I was just looking at Soriano's HR/FB ratio of 0.13, which was very middle of the pack, and half that of the league leaders like Manny, Hafner, Andruw, etc.

Based on that, I suspect that even the homerun projection here might be too high, considering he is going to a park where flyballs go to die, and will be playing another 27 road games or so in places like Florida, NY, and Atlanta.

I think it's very possible the avg and on base projections are correct, but I think the homer totals and the slg % could be even worse than the projections here.
   27. shoewizard Posted: February 07, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#1853363)
I meant to also point out his 0.73 GB/FB ratio....extreme flyball hitter that does not hit a particularly high percentage of his fly balls out of the park in the toughest flyball environment in baseball.

It adds up to about 18 homers, I think.
   28. JPWF13 Posted: February 07, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#1853405)
I think it's very possible the avg and on base projections are correct, but I think the homer totals and the slg % could be even worse than the projections here.

I'm as down on Soriano as anyone, but he did have back to back 35+ homers seasons in Yankee Stadium, which may no longer be the pitcher's park it once was is not Texas either.

What's odd is the extreme swing in Soriano's H/R numbers once he was traded to Texas. In NY he hit much better at home than the road. In Texas the reverse- and his NY road numbers are vastly better than his Texas road numbers.

Almost worst case scenario is Soriano hits in Wash like he did in NY, and hits on the road like he did for Texas:
about:.254/.294/.442

Worst case scenario: his road #s over the last 2 years accurately represent his current level of ability- and his 81 games in Wash take a further bite out of that.
   29. JPWF13 Posted: February 08, 2006 at 09:43 PM (#1855041)
just wanted to mention that in the CBS Sportsline "experts" draft- the "expert" from Elias picked Soriano in the 1st round, #6 overall.
   30. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2051517)
He's not that bad a player.

Much more suited to the free-swinging NL.

Wilkerson isn't hitting well, even in the that park.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2051522)
2006 ZiPS Projections
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Sledge 351 40 94 18 5 14 55 37 58 2 .268 .337 .467
Soriano 640 85 159 35 3 27 79 35 130 4 .248 .295 .439
Wilkerson 554 99 155 44 4 24 102 94 148 9 .280 .387 .504


Current stats:

Soriano OBP .364 SA .628 BA .312 OPS . 940
Wilkerson OBP .333 SA .473 BA .245 OPS .718

As for Sledge, he was passed onto San Diego, and then:

San Diego Padres outfielder Terrmel Sledge was demoted to Triple-A Portland on Wednesday due to his poor play, which included a .160 average and several defensive miscues.
(Updated 04/18/2006).
   32. Darren Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2051523)
I'll take a stab. Soriano hits very well as a leadoff man but not as well in other slots. This is because pitchers have it drilled into their skulls that they cannot put people on base in front of the "heart of the order," so they throw Soriano strikes. Too many strikes.

This is one thing that I give Torre a ton of credit for. He had other guys who would have been better leadoff hitters, but I think he recognized that Soriano was best suited for that spot because it played to his strengths (pummeling pitches in the zone, without having to worry that they'd not be in the zone). Perhaps the National League pitchers will figure him out and stop throwing strikes. Until then, he'll still look like 02-03 self.
   33. DCW3 Posted: June 05, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#2051561)
Soriano OBP .364 SA .628 BA .312 OPS . 940
Wilkerson OBP .333 SA .473 BA .245 OPS .718


Well, if Wilkerson and Soriano can defy the laws of mathematics, then this deal was trouble from day one.

(It reminds me of a moment in today's Cardinals/Cubs game, where Jason Marquis gets to a 2-0 count on Tony Womack, and the broadcaster, Ricky Horton, says, "If this next pitch is ball four, Duncan's going to have to come out and have a talk with Marquis. And I'm thinking, "If this next pitch is ball four, we have much bigger concerns.")
   34. DCW3 Posted: June 05, 2006 at 04:44 AM (#2051562)
Should be a closed quote mark after "...talk with Marquis."
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2051565)
How come you guys don't revive the ones I get right?
   36. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 05, 2006 at 05:24 AM (#2051579)
How come you guys don't revive the ones I get right?

Because I don't want to remind myself that the Cubs suck?
   37. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 05, 2006 at 06:01 AM (#2051591)
Honestly, I think most people on this site paid too much attention to the fact that Soriano hit like Kaz Matsui on the road in 2004 and 2005 and didn't pay enough attention to the fact that he hit like A-rod at home. In addition, he was a bit unlucky to be so bad on the road the last 2 seasons. Finally, Soriano will not be this good the entire season in all likelihood.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 05, 2006 at 06:17 AM (#2051596)
How many people predicted Soriano would be on pace to hit 60 homers and set his career high in walks?

Will he fall into the sub .800 OPS where some people thought he would be? Not unless he goes all Neifi on us, but he probably won't be at .900+ all season either.
   39. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 05, 2006 at 06:58 AM (#2051603)
Will he fall into the sub .800 OPS where some people thought he would be? Not unless he goes all Neifi on us, but he probably won't be at .900+ all season either.

This is Fons' M.O., though. He will go all Neifi on you, though probably not for the whole season. At some point, for an excruciating period, Soriano won't be able to hit the side of a barn with a paddle, from the inside.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 05, 2006 at 10:37 AM (#2051618)
Soriano OBP .364 SA .628 BA .312 OPS <strike>.940</strike> .992
Wilkerson OBP .333 SA .473 BA .245 OPS <strike>.718 </strike>.806


Well, if Wilkerson and Soriano can defy the laws of mathematics, then this deal was trouble from day one.


Oops. Still a pretty big gap, though.
   41. BDC Posted: June 05, 2006 at 11:45 AM (#2051624)
And if you'd'a told me in April that the Rangers would see Wilkerson hit like Laynce Nix II, Adam Eaton not pitch at all, Dellucci traded for some guy who's made four starts with an ERA of eight, but they'd be leading the division by 3 1/2 games ... baseball is very tough on prophets.

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