Stop the insanity
Now we know: Alfonso Soriano is going to the Chicago Cubs in a huge megadeal. This has emerged tonight and we are only waiting for official confirmation.
This tells me two things: Divisional rivals for the Astros are being agressive on the market, and Houston is now forced to follow suit. Otherwise, it would be a huge disappointment for Tim Purpura and crew. Rita is elaborating about this on Hot Stove and Beyond.
Soriano wasn’t definitely the answer to the Astros’ prayers, at least in my humble opinion. A player with a high strikeout ratio, a dubious OBP and some age to go along with it, is not exactly what’s needed, as much pop or power he might be able to provide. I have always believed the way to go is with a player with stable production and occasional power. But then again, that’s not sexy, is it?
Then again, when the rest of your division is not resting and making an impact on the market, you are forced to follow because of survival instincts. This doesn’t mean to go crazy and accept a scalping of Soriano’s proportion, but of not staying quiet.
The market might be influenced by the Soriano deal (some might even say rip-off) in a very negative way.
Many agents will think, hey, if the Cubs are willing to pay such an amount of money to a guy who yes, drives in runs and hits the longball, but is also aging and has a terrible plate discipline, other guys’ prices will go upwards just like oil prices go right after any threat on the Middle East.
The Astros are obliged to act now. If they at least don’t show a respectable offer, or make a meaningful trade (even if that means sending some of Houston’s precious pieces packing) it will become a disaster in terms of public perception. This will only make it harder for the Astros to keep on their philosophy of sound spending, considered by many as frugal.