Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has been available on the trade market at various times over the past several years.
This winter, he might finally be on the move.
The Cubs expect to meet with teams regarding Soriano during the upcoming winter meetings in Nashville, according to major-league sources. It won’t necessarily be easy to deal Soriano, who has a full no-trade clause and is due a total of $36 million over the next two seasons.
Still, the 36-year-old is likely to garner strong interest from teams who need right-handed power, as he is coming off his highest home run total (32) over the past five seasons. The Cubs are willing to include cash in the deal to put Soriano at a more palatable price point. But Soriano may be more valuable than expected, when considering free agent Jonny Gomes, a platoon player for much of his career, just signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The Philadelphia Phillies are one obvious fit for Soriano. They are looking for a right-handed outfield bat to replace Hunter Pence, who was dealt to the San Francisco Giants at the July trade deadline. With Pence gone and catcher Carlos Ruiz suspended to begin the season, the Phillies have only one player on their active roster — shortstop Jimmy Rollins — who hit more than 15 home runs in 2012, when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley missed time with injuries.
Soriano’s presence would be a welcome fit for a Philadelphia outfield that currently consists of Darin Ruf, John Mayberry Jr. and Domonic Brown. Soriano totaled an .821 OPS this year while setting a career high with 108 RBI.
The Phillies pursued Soriano when he became a free agent after the 2006 season, but the Cubs won the bidding with an eight-year, $136 million deal.
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal