What’s on second? Well, it shouldn’t be Soriano

During a slow week for baseball news, an item on Alfonso Soriano piqued my curiosity in ESPN’s Insider-only rumor mill. With Soriano voicing his displeasure at potentially moving to the outfield for the Washington Nationals in 2006, some teams, including the always-active Boston Red Sox, have called Jim Bowden searching for a deal.

The way I see it, however, any team inquiring after Soriano are blinded by his reputation as a power-hitting second baseman. But his recent track record would suggest that his presence would hardly help a team that needs him.

First, let’s look at fielding. Fielding has long been hard to quantify, and numerous writers across the Internet have tried to come up with better metrics for fielding. I’m going to call on Baseball Prospectus’ FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average).

When it comes to fielding, Soriano is downright awful at second. In 2005, he managed a career-low -25 FRAA. You’re reading that right; it’s a negative number. For all of his talk about not wanting to move from second base, Alfonso Soriano isn’t even a good second baseman.

On the offensive side, the almost-30-year-old has a 162-game career average line of .280/.320/.500 with 33 home runs and 137 RBIs. He shows exceptional power but no on-base ability. He has never managed an OBP over .338, and his OBP has dropped to .308 since his 2003 season. Despite this infrequent appearances on the base paths, he still managed 21 BRAA or Batting Runs Above Average in 2005.

Some simple and statistically sloppy arithmetic shows a total 2005 RAA (runs above average) for Soriano of -4. While he had a WARP-3 (wins above replacement player adjusted for all-time) of 4.9, this simply shows he’s better than a replacement-level player. He’s not producing at the level of an average second baseman, and this would hurt any team that could land that so-called average second baseman.

So now enter the Nationals. A few weeks ago, I looked at how Soriano will suffer offensively in RFK Stadium. He may hit just 10 home runs at home this season if he remains a member of the Nationals. With a shortcoming of power, you can bet that Soriano will be swinging at even more pitches. And missing. His fielding will probably remain the same; his offense will decline. He’ll be worth less to the Nationals than he was as a below-average player on the Rangers.

With that in mind, does it make sense for the Red Sox or any other team to attempt to acquire Alfonso Soriano at the cost of Major League pitching? Not at all. Bowden, a bold GM, is sure to ask for a top-line pitcher or pitching prospect for Soriano, and the second baseman, just one season away from free agency, isn’t worth it. He is after all below average in some regards.

In the end, I don’t blame Soriano for being unhappy with landing on the Nationals. In his contract season, his offense will decline and he’s being asked to switch positions from second base where his 38 home runs look great to left field where his .308 OBP looks awful. He’ll be 31 at the start of his new contract, and he knows he will probably have the chance to really cash in just once in his career. It would make sense for him to lobby for a trade. It just doesn’t make sense for any team to give up a lot to sign him.

Advertisements

1 Response to “What’s on second? Well, it shouldn’t be Soriano”


  1. 1 jer January 3, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    I think it was a stupid trade, and Washington needs to deal him while some clubs still think he is worth something, and before he becomes a huge distraction to the team.

    I also agree with you about Buster Olney, I am going through withdrawal right now. He alone makes ESPN Insider worth the money.


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • The case for trading Brett Gardner to make room for Darvish January 22, 2018
    The other day, Steven wrote about the rationale of trading David Robertson to clear some salary room to fit Yu Darvish’s hypothetical contract under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Today, I’m here to make a case for trading away another established veteran player with a +$10M salary: Brett Gardner. We’ve talked about the Yankees’ […] The post The case […]
    Sung-Min Kim
  • Sorting out the Yankees’ potential non-roster Spring Training invitees for 2018 January 22, 2018
    Pitchers and catchers report to Tampa three weeks from tomorrow, and at some point soon, likely within the next two weeks, the Yankees will announce their 2018 Spring Training invitees. These are non-40-man roster players who get a chance to come to big league camp to strut their stuff. Some non-roster invitees are top prospects, […] The post Sorting out the […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Fan Confidence Poll: January 22nd, 2018 January 22, 2018
    2017 Regular Season Record: 91-71 (858 RS, 660 RA, 100-62 pythag. record), second in ALE 2017 Postseason Record: 7-6 (51 RS, 42 RA), won AL WC Game, won ALDS, lost ALCS Top stories from last week: There continue to be rumors connecting the Yankees to Yu Darvish. Unless he signs dirt cheap, there’s no way […] The post Fan Confidence Poll: January 22nd, 2018 a […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Weekend Open Thread January 21, 2018
    ?I finally had a chance to read Kiley McDaniel’s piece on the stats vs. scouts debate, which really isn’t a debate anymore. Every team uses both. There are a few clubs that lean analytical — from what I understand, the Rays use algorithms for basically everything, including the draft — but the very best organizations […] The post Weekend Open Thread appeared […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Sunday Thoughts: Infield, Sonny Gray, Pitch Clock, Luxury Tax January 21, 2018
    In waiting for baseball to begin again, I find myself asking “When will then be now?” Regardless of the actual time between the end of one season and the beginning of a new one, it seems to feel longer each year. Perhaps that’s especially true this year as my non-baseball diversions–college basketball and the New York Giants–have […] The post Sunday Thoughts […]
    Matt Imbrogno
  • Saturday Links: Pitch Clock, Martinez, Betances, Sanchez January 20, 2018
    Only four more Saturdays without baseball. Pretty cool. The Grapefruit League is about a month away. Anyway, here’s some news and notes on this baseball-less Saturday. MLBPA paving the way for pitch clock According to Ken Rosenthal, the MLBPA has formally rejected commissioner Rob Manfred’s latest pace-of-play proposal. That paves the way for MLB to […] The […]
    Mike Axisa
  • River Avenue Blues Podcast, Episode 19 January 19, 2018
    As promised, we’re answering your questions this week. Keep them coming, both to the voicemail and the email. The usual notes: You can subscribe basically anywhere at this point, so hooray for that. Some links of note: Apple Podcasts/iTunes Android Overcast Stitcher You can call our voicemail at 716-393-5330 to leave us questions for future […] The post Rive […]
    Joe Pawlikowski
  • RAB Live Chat January 19, 2018
    The post RAB Live Chat appeared first on River Avenue Blues.
    Mike Axisa
  • Prospect Profile: Freicer Perez January 19, 2018
    Freicer Perez | RHP Background Freicer Perez was signed by the Yankees for the bargain basement price of $10,000 back in 2014. A native of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, the second-largest city in the country, Perez was a relative unknown in that year’s international free agent class, and was little more than a […] The post Prospect Profile: […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Mailbag: Shaw, Hicks, Judge, Torres, Lynn, Coaching Staff January 19, 2018
    Ten questions in this week’s mailbag. The first Grapefruit League game is four weeks from today, you know. Baseball is getting closer. Anyway, RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is the email address. Many asked: What about Travis Shaw? A few days ago Jim Bowden reported the Brewers may sign Mike Moustakas and trade Shaw, and […] The post Mailbag: Shaw, Hicks, J […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,642 hits

%d bloggers like this: