Word came out a day or two ago that the Dodgers were shopping Andre Ethier. It was then corrected that they were only listening to offers, but now there's a report that the Dodgers are interested in Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher, but first must trade Ethier. Ethier is owed $85 million over the next 5 years and will be 31 this year.
Ethier never became the superstar that many expected when he reached the big leagues, but he has been a valuable player. He might be worth the $85 million though he probably isn't and that's why I'm bringing him up. Would the Dodgers being willing to eat some of the contract? They've been willing to eat just about every dollar they can possibly find so who knows? Would they instead be willing to package a prospect in a deal along with Ethier? That's why I'm interested.
Not only is Ethier still a valuable player, but if the Cubs could also pick up a valuable prospect in the trade, it could help them out now and in the future. Not only would they have the future impact of the prospect, but they'd also have the ability to trade Ethier later on. Perhaps a move to Wrigley Field sees his offense improve drastically. I wouldn't count on it, but I wouldn't rule it out either.
The Cubs have money so they can take on the contract. They would get their starting RF for several years and have the option of trading him if he breaks out in the near future for prospects. They'd also get a prospect in return.
Would the Dodgers do this? I'm skeptical that they would, but I think it's something that Theo and Jed ought to try and discuss with the Dodgers.
Speaking of Theo and Jed, that same article says the Cubs are looking for a top prospect in return for Alfonso Soriano. We already knew they were willing to eat a large chunk of the remaining contract, but now we learn they want a top prospect.
Given the dearth of talent on the free-agent market, the Yankees might be forced to look for an outfielder in a trade. The Cubs have been shopping Alfonso Soriano around the league, and while his contract — he's owed $36 million over the next two years to finish his eight-year, $136 million deal — is massive, a source said the Cubs would likely be willing to absorb as much as $26 million in the right situation.
General manager Theo Epstein is said to be asking for top prospects in return for Soriano, who hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI last season.
Good luck getting multiple top prospects. Getting one will be difficult enough. Soriano is a league average bat at this point and depending on what you think of him defensively, he's probably not much more than an average player overall. That makes him worth roughly $11 million per year in value this year and maybe about $7.5 next year. So even if the Cubs kick in $26 million in any trade, they can't expect to get a whole lot in return, which is why Soriano will more than likely be the opening day starter for the Cubs this year and probably next year.
It just doesn't appear the Cubs are serious about trading him.