July 22nd, 2006

Sox enter Soriano sweepstakes

Welcome the White Sox into the bidding for Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Ozzie Guillen downplayed the reports and said he doesn’t see a deal happening, according to Scott Merkin. But you have to wonder: If the White Sox believe the Tigers are a real threat to acquire Soriano, and if they believe Soriano makes the Tigers that much better, do they go ahead and try to snatch him partly to keep him out of Detroit?

The Nats keep on falling

The closer we get to the deadline, the fewer healthy prospects they have available to deal. Now it appears Jose Vidro’s hamstring problems might force him to stay put. From the Washington Post:

Vidro, a candidate to be traded given the long-term rebuilding projectthe club is undertaking, drew significant interest from the San
Francisco Giants earlier this week, a club source said, but that
interest has since waned, perhaps in part because of Vidro’s recent
hamstring problems.

How does this affect the Tigers, you ask? Well, it further reinforces the fact that Alfonso Soriano is the one tradeable commodity they have. You can look at that two ways: Either GM Jim Bowden has to make sure he gets top prospects in any Soriano deal, or he has to make sure he can get wahtever he can.

A baseball source raised the possibility that the Nationals could well decide to keep Soriano if they don’t like what they’re being offered, let him leave as a free agent, and take the draft picks next summer as compensation. It’s most likely posturing on Washington’s part, but when you think about it, it’s not a totally crazy idea for a team that’s looking for young talent and has money to spend for it. If you can’t get first-round type prospects for Soriano by trading him, you can get a couple by holding onto him.