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  1. You talk about Alfonso Soriano making it harder to stay under $189 million in 2014, but my understanding was the trade was going to be structured in a way that the luxury tax deductions from the cash the Cubs are paying cancel out the cost of Soriano next year like the Vernon Wells trade. Is that still the case or did something change?

    Comment by Austin carter — July 26, 2013 @ 9:44 am

  2. Chone Figgins is available.

    Comment by Rippers — July 26, 2013 @ 9:55 am

  3. He is an upgrade. Granderson and Jeter, even if average, will be upgrades. I am assuming A Rod is suspended but what if he appeals, there is another upgrade. Throw in a possible trade or waiver wire pick up. They are better than a 16% to make the playoffs. They have treaded water far longer than anyone thought they would

    Comment by dch — July 26, 2013 @ 9:58 am

  4. Dave,

    Why do you assume that the Cubs are going to use the $5 million wisely?

    Using Feldman as an example you then said “Odds are good that the Cubs are going to reinvest the savings into their 2014 club and come away with a better (and younger) player than Soriano in the process. That makes this an easy win for Chicago.”

    The Cubs also used $5.5 million dollars to sign Scott Baker this year. It seems like that was a pretty poor use of resources and the odds are probably just as high that they use the $5 million dollars on another Baker rather than another Feldman.

    Soriano is by no means a great (or even a good player) anymore but he figures to retain his status as a 1-1.5 win player next year which is almost exactly what $5 million would get you in the free agent market place.

    I fail to see how this makes this an “easy win” for the Cubs

    Comment by AMB — July 26, 2013 @ 9:58 am

  5. “Yankee righties have a .589 OPS”

    Holy damn that is mind-boggling. The Yankees righties have colelctively been a team of Pete Kozma’s.

    Comment by Slats — July 26, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  6. No thank you.

    Comment by Brian Cashman — July 26, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  7. Cubs can spend the money where they need the most help (pitching, 2B, maybe catcher) and use acceptable dirt-cheap guys like Lake, Borbon, Sappelt, Vitters, and Ha in left field for the same production Soriano would provide.

    Comment by Brett W — July 26, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  8. Pretty surprised that the Cubs could only get a low level RP prospect for Soriano considering the market and them eating almost all the money.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — July 26, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  9. Soriano had to approve the trade, too, so that reduced their leverage. Pesumably New York was one of the few (maybe only?) places he was willing to go.

    Comment by maguro — July 26, 2013 @ 10:06 am

  10. Come on, those guys are all terrible.

    Comment by maguro — July 26, 2013 @ 10:08 am

  11. Yeah that could explain it. He supposedly nixed a deal to Pittsburgh last year.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — July 26, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  12. I’m not sure this money makes any kind of a difference to the Yankees, especially considering that ARod will undoubtedly be suspended for a period of time in connection to the Biogenesis investigation. if ARod makes $25 million in 2014 and is suspended for 50 games – which seems low, but we’ll use that as our “out of the hat” number – then the Yankees will recoup that $7 million in an ARod suspension. And since Braun has already cut a deal with MLB as a kind-of repeat offender, it’s unlikely that MLB is going to go any easier on Alex Rodriguez.

    Not stating whether any of this is fair or reasonable or a good use of MLB’s time and energy, just stating that it seems likely that the Soriano money could come out of an ARod suspension.

    Comment by McExpos — July 26, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  13. Agreed this is probably leverage plus it just makes too much sense to get it done. Cubs gain at least a live arm, younger and recoup some money for a signup next year for a player that had a no-trade clause? Not bad.

    Also lets the Cubs put someone younger out in the OF as part of the rebuild. Now to find a taker for Gregg and Nate and Theo/Hoyer would be doing an amazing job here.

    Comment by chri521 — July 26, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  14. Corey Black throws a 99-100mph fastball. Hardly a low level prospect. Hes young, needs development, but with a FB that quick, not a bad deal for a aging Soriano.

    Comment by maxamuz — July 26, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  15. It’s funny that in most of the baseball world, Pete Kozma has become metonymous for a bad hitter while in one city, Washington, he is loathed for his clutch postseason hitting.

    Comment by cass — July 26, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  16. that stat hasnt changed since you wrote it in jeffs thread as “jason b” … even more annoying, you copy/pasted instead of adding some additional insight, as evidenced by the exact same spelling error.

    ill get off my condescending soapbox now, carry on with your life slats/jason b.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — July 26, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  17. Do teams get a salary cap break for suspended players? Has anyone done an analysis of that?

    Comment by Pre — July 26, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  18. He is also 5’11 and has already had TJ with a violent delivery.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — July 26, 2013 @ 10:27 am

  19. What salary cap? Do you mean luxury tax? Wendy has posted some really good articles on this exact topic in the past.

    Comment by Dave — July 26, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  20. Perhaps the term low level was meant about the league in which he plays and not the quality of Mr. Black.

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — July 26, 2013 @ 10:39 am

  21. Soriano, Wells and Ichiro. Looks like the Yankees are trying to put together the 2006 All Star Game. They need to get Jeter and ARod back on the field though.

    Comment by Kevin — July 26, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  22. Might a younger $5mm player have a higher upside and/or trade value than Alfonso? I’m not displeased with Scherholtz, Dejesus and Borbon/Suppelt/etc in the of while waiting for bigger and better things in the off-season, 2014 and 2015. I think they’ll spend the extra $$ wisely.

    Comment by Chcago Mark — July 26, 2013 @ 10:54 am

  23. You know the term “low-level” doesn’t refer to the player’s velocity, right?

    Comment by NS — July 26, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  24. Hey, you copied and pasted my comment from yesterday. At least fix my misspellings if you’re going to do that…

    Comment by Jason B — July 26, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  25. To be clear, I am the original bad speller and poster. Slats is an interloping copier. And, with this being the internet, I can only assume he has tiny genitals also.

    Comment by Jason B — July 26, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  26. Signing Scott Baker was a cheap risk just like Feldman. If it wasn’t a risk, they wouldn’t be available for small contracts. At least one of them paying off became more likely when they signed both and the total value of those two signings together is still positive given the Feldman return.

    If they don’t trade Soriano, they don’t have this savings to spend on another player next year. Even if it’s more likely than not that they don’t find another flip candidate, the chances that they do are high enough that the cost of losing Soriano’s production is a worthwhile risk given the marginal value he would have to them next year.

    Comment by Neil Weinberg — July 26, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  27. It seems like Dave is simply assuming that because the Cubs spend money wisely (ala Scott Feldman) that they will again. He makes no mention of, or reference to, allocating money to a different need.

    Comment by AMB — July 26, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  28. I was under the impression that they only intended to be under the cap for one year, to reset the %%% they pay on overages…

    Comment by Eric R — July 26, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  29. They are. 2014 is that year. Though there are rumors they might abandon it because the savings are a lot less than they originally thought

    Comment by austin carter — July 26, 2013 @ 11:37 am

  30. This is awesome now that I think about it. As a Cardinals fan, I really wish Pete Kozma was DFA’d. However, he will forever be the enemy in DC.

    Comment by Clayton — July 26, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  31. Hey there…

    Comment by Brian Sabean — July 26, 2013 @ 11:53 am

  32. Usually thats a good thing that the TJ is already out of the way and the velo is back

    Comment by Guest — July 26, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  33. Who was the last right-handed batter to hit a HR for the Yankees? …I’m going to guess Jayson Nix.

    Comment by DNA+ — July 26, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  34. This is an excellent move by the Yankees. They are still in contention, get Wells out of the lineup, and even as a platoon DH next year Soriano should return $5 mill of value to the Yankees, should he not?

    OK, a minor move, but an excellent minor move.

    Comment by Richie — July 26, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  35. I disagree that spending $5.5 M on Scott Baker was a “pretty poor use of resources.” There was a pretty good chance that Baker was going to be worth at least 1 win and, if he was on a 2-3 win pace — a fairly decent bet, the Cubs could’ve turned around and traded him at the deadline as well.

    Look at it this way, the Cubs spent about $10 M and got Feldman for half a season + the return that Feldman brought them in a trade. That’s a pretty good deal for the Cubs, even if Baker turned out to be worthless.

    That Baker has been hurt all season doesn’t mean it was a poor use of resources. It just didn’t work out. It was a solid use of resources and sometimes that just happens.

    Do you really think that Soriano was likely to bring them a better return than this pitcher + $5 M?

    Comment by chuckb — July 26, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  36. Oh my god…everdiso has a doppleganger!

    Comment by chuckb — July 26, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  37. He’s not all that popular in Atlanta either.

    Comment by chuckb — July 26, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  38. He’s at A ball and projects as a relief pitcher. He’s not exactly Tavares or Lindor.

    Comment by chuckb — July 26, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  39. I’m a Yanks fan, but Black’s a nice enough prospect that Cubs fans should be happy with the trade.

    I’d say it’s an “easy win” for Chicago, but it’s also a very good deal for the Yanks.

    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — July 26, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  40. Well yeah, that’s why he’s getting traded for Alfonso Soriano instead of Giancarlo Stanton.

    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — July 26, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  41. Ideally Soriano won’t be the only midseason acquisition. They also should be acquiring a fellow named Curtis Granderson within the next 20 days, along with a pretty good RHH who can stand at SS.

    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — July 26, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

  42. However, DC still loves Soriano and that 40/40 season he had for us.

    Comment by mockcarr — July 26, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  43. You’re right, more than a month ago (6/25). The one before that, by David Adams, was also another month prior (5/22).

    Comment by syh — July 26, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  44. Are we talking about the same Scott Baker?

    The same guy who missed all of last year with an arm injury and hasn’t started a game in the big leagues since the beginning of August, 2011?

    Comment by AMB — July 26, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  45. Yeah, I remember both of them. …the Adams one was particularly exciting. He was about the 5th player the Yankees tried at 3rd this year. He came up and got a few hits, including two HR, if I remember correctly, made a few nice plays in the field, and then the bubble burst and he spent the rest of the his time up looking like a deer in headlights. He was probably relieved to be sent back down, he looked so overmatched.

    I’m going to guess that the HR prior to Adams, if not another one by Adams then it was Chris Stewart.

    Comment by DNA+ — July 26, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

  46. Over the last 30 days Soriano is 24/84 18 10 21 2 .286. Sorry for the fantasy stats, but it was easily copy-pasteable.

    Comment by Cus — July 26, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  47. in the last 30 days, the Yankee offense has been below replacement level. the entire offense. yikes.
    so Im going with, trading for Soriano was good, just to maintain a minimum level of dignity.

    Comment by jsolid — July 26, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  48. And Cano has been quite good over this period. As a fan you feel like you’ve got at best 4 at bats where something good might happen.

    Funny thing, teams have figured out that there is no sense pitching to Cano, and his BB have jumped up, and so has his WAR according to FanGraphs. …but the truth is, those walks might be valuable on the average team, but on this team, if you take the bat out of Cano’s hands you’ve crippled the entire offense.

    Comment by DNA+ — July 26, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

  49. Dave, if you are going to point out the Yankees luxury tax drive, could you at least have the common sense to use the actual luxury tax impact and not salary (as the two are not the same).

    Wells is a league min hit against the luxury tax calculation next year. Soriano is I think about 4mil.

    Comment by Hank — July 26, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  50. Everything Hoyer/Theo does is an easy win, it’s a rule.

    Heck he called the Baker signing a top 10 move last offseason.

    Comment by Hank — July 26, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

  51. Because every move can only be judged in retrospect?

    I don’t understand the up votes on the AMB comment at all. Baker was throwing in Spring Training and then he injured his arm again. Spending five million one a guy like that is exactly what the 2013 Cubs needed to do. The fact that it didn’t pay off was proof only that there was risk involved in the original deal.

    Will the Cubs definitely get something of value from the $7 million they save in the Soriano deal? No, but it’s not impossible. Will Corey Black ever be any use at the major league level? Maybe, perhaps probably, not but again, it’s not impossible. Was Alfonso Soriano going to contribute anything to the next decent Cubs team? Pretty much certainly not.

    Hoyer and Epstein’s Cubs may never win anything but it won’t be for a want of attempting to do things the right way. AMB, they have allocated a lot of money pretty wisely already. Paul Maholm? Feldman? Nate Schierholtz? David DeJesus? You can’t claim they have wasted much in their couple of years in the job.

    Comment by Daniel — July 26, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

  52. I think you are wrong to assume this means the end of Wells. His splits against lefties are not bad, and he’s a better fielder than Soriano. Plus he’s 18 for 56 in July, which I’ll take all the time.
    What makes more sense is for Almonte, Soriano and Wells to split time in LF. And for Soriano to see significant time at DH, with Hafner being the one who loses out in this game of musical chairs.

    Comment by Tanned Tom — July 26, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  53. The conversation for this topic ended hours ago, so I apologize for the late comment. I’m new to this site and this is my first post. I thought the Yankees would have been better off trading for a player such as Matt Laporta. I realize that Laporta has not done much in his career in the majors, but he is younger and less expensive than Soriano. He is also capable of playing first base. The Yankees, already having Wells, had a bigger need for a righthanded 1B/DH than righthanded LF/DH. The Indians have a need for bullpen depth (their bullpen gave up 4 runs tonight to blow the lead) and the Yankees needed a righthanded bat/1B. A swap of Chamberlain for Laporta might have worked. Both teams would have filled needs by exchanging former top prospects.

    Comment by mintmason — July 26, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  54. is that Neil Weinberg from Forbes?

    Comment by skmd — July 26, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

  55. well played, both of you…LOL

    Comment by skmd — July 26, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

  56. Don’t forget Gardy! Even though he cooled off a bit last month, he’s back to being a legitimate leadoff hitter.

    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — July 26, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  57. I’d say the reason that didn’t happen is that Soriano is still a useful piece, despite his age, while LaPorta is simply not very good at hitting baseballs.

    Also, Wells is terrible. Truly, truly terrible.

    Comment by Cool Lester Smooth — July 26, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

  58. I appreciate the response. There is no denying that Laporta has not hit well in the majors, but he did perform well in the minors for multiple seasons. Before last season you could have said Chris Davis was not very good at hitting baseballs in the majors. Now he’s a top hitter. I’d rather see the Yankees take a chance on a younger hitter like Laporta, whose future cost is minimal, instead of another aging player in Soriano.

    Comment by mintmason — July 27, 2013 @ 12:34 am

  59. I want the Cubs to keep Nate unless a team overpays for him. They have him under contract for next season and this Soriano trade now opens up a great competition for all three OF positions in the Friendly Confines.

    Comment by JamesDaBear — July 27, 2013 @ 12:36 am

  60. Baker is making rehab starts now. It was a calculated risk, but it’s not a bust yet.

    Comment by Ronson — July 27, 2013 @ 1:58 am

  61. If, if, if. You’re assuming a lot. They’ve been treading water, but they’ve been trending down for nearly two months. If those returning from injury reverse that trend then perhaps that 16% number changes. Until then, no, they are indeed at 16% to make the playoffs.

    Comment by EMB — July 27, 2013 @ 9:18 am

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