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 Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] March 30, 2017
    There has been an interesting bit of parity in the AL East this decade, as every team has won the division crown in the last seven years. The Red Sox appear to be the standard-bearer, with both ZiPS and PECOTA projecting them to repeat as division champs – but both also have at least four […] The post The Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] appeared fi […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Spring Training Game Thread: Final Grapefruit League Game March 30, 2017
    This afternoon the Yankees are playing their final Grapefruit League game of the year. They still have one exhibition game remaining, tomorrow night at the brand new SunTrust Field in Atlanta, but this is the final game in Florida. Well, at least until the Yankees come back to play the first series of the regular […] The post Spring Training Game Thread: Fin […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Yankees finalize Opening Day roster; Holder, Mitchell, and Shreve make the bullpen March 30, 2017
    Earlier this morning, Joe Girardi informally announced the Yankees’ 25-man Opening Day roster. Aaron Judge will be the right fielder and Luis Severino will be the fourth starter, and the decision to option out Rob Refsnyder means Pete Kozma will be the utility infielder. Also, Girardi told Bryan Hoch that Bryan Mitchell, Jonathan Holder, and […] The post Yan […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Girardi on Aaron Judge: “He’s our right fielder” March 30, 2017
    Common sense prevails! Joe Girardi announced this morning Aaron Judge will be the Yankees’ starting right fielder this season, according to Erik Boland. “He’s our right fielder,” said Girardi. The club was reportedly considering sending Judge to Triple-A as recently as yesterday. Judge, 24, is hitting .345/.406/.569 with three homers so far this spring. He’s […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Triple-A March 30, 2017
    Earlier today, the Yankees announced that Rob Refsnyder had been optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 26-year-old was batting just .209/.314/.349 in 43 at-bats, and was openly put on the trading block three weeks ago. There was some talk that he could have a shot at heading north in a bench role on the heels of the […] The post Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Tr […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Passan: Yankees will use Luis Severino as fourth starter March 30, 2017
    According to Jeff Passan, right-hander Luis Severino has made the Opening Day roster and the Yankees will use him as their fourth starter. Neither Joe Girardi nor anyone with the team has announced anything yet, however. Still, all signs point in this direction. This isn’t exactly a surprise. Severino, 23, has allowed six runs in […] The post Passan: Yankees […]
    Mike Axisa
  • There are many pros and only a few cons to signing Sanchez to a long-term contract March 30, 2017
    February and March make up extension season in baseball. Most pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players hammer out their contracts for the upcoming season this time of year, and inevitably some strike long-term deals with their teams. In recent weeks Tim Anderson, Rougned Odor, Jose Ramirez (the hitter, not the pitcher), Kevin Kiermaier, and Carlos Ma […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Open Thread: March 29th Camp Notes March 29, 2017
    Your browser does not support iframes.The Yankees are officially Spring Training champions. They clinched baseball’s best record this spring with their win this afternoon. Neat. The Yankees are now 23-8-1 while the second place Cardinals are 20-8-4. Both teams have two games to play. Aaron Judge had two singles this afternoon and he even stole […] The post O […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch March 29, 2017
    One of our longest running features — I hesitate to call it a feature, but whatever — here at RAB is our annual Prospect Watch. We pick a prospect and track his progress throughout the season in the sidebar. Simple, right? Also kinda silly, but hey, people seem to like it, so it continues. Think […] The post Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch appeared first o […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Brian Cashman and the 2017 trade deadline [2017 Season Preview] March 29, 2017
    Welcome to another contract year for Brian Cashman. Don’t worry: Cashman has enough job security that he isn’t about to trade the farm for some short-sighted fix that harms the Yankees’ future. He’s acquitted himself quite well over the last two decades and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the job right now. It […] The post Brian Cashman and the 2017 trad […]
    Steven Tydings

Blog Stats

  • 62,328 hits

%d bloggers like this: