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Anyone want an expensive, no-defense, washed-up slugger?

Aug 15, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

alfonso-soriano-cubs AP

I usually stay away from the “so-and-so was put on waivers” and “so-and-so cleared waivers” stories because they’re pretty dog-bites-man.  Shocker: really expensive guys on non-contenders are placed on and clear waivers all the time.

But sometimes it’s worth looking at the examples of some to remind us of this.  Like today, when within a few minutes we got reports of both Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee clearing waivers.  They’re available to anyone who wants them, folks!

Of course Lee is owed $18 million next year and Soriano is owed north of that for the next three seasons — a fact which still boggles my mind — so that may explain why no one wanted them when they could have simply claimed them.  And also explains why it is exceedingly unlikely that either will be the subject of trade talks any time soon.

Word is that the Cubs will kick in many millions to offset Soriano’s salary, but really, even if it’s 95%, there are hardly any teams who need a guy like him. He’s essentially a DH now who can hit a few homers but doesn’t get on base enough to make him worth it.

So that’s waivers in a nutshell.  If anyone interesting, useful and movable is placed on waivers, we’ll first hear about it when the trade is announced, not when they clear.

  1. Charles Gates - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    I can’t believe Cashman traded this guy away for that bum A-Rod.

  2. 78mu - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    And yet Hendry’s job is safe next year. Shouldn’t the Soriano contract be enough to disqualify him from anything more than polishing the team’s shoes?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      That plus the Milton Bradley experiment and somehow the guy’s job is still safe. What a loser! The whole org is a bunch of losers too for keeping him.

      • 78mu - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        Yeah and Zambrano and Fukudome and for all I know he signed the head usher in the bleachers to a 10 year, 210 million dollar contract. Everyone else was getting them so why not.

  3. natstowngreg - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Sounds like a job for the Dodgers, but they’re a little short on cash right now.

    • dodger88 - Aug 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      Nah, Colletti will wait the few years and then grab them as free agents.

  4. spudchukar - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    While I agree whole-heartedly about Soriano, somebody is missing out on Lee as a DH or pinch-hitter. He is still a tough out, and a clutch-hitter, with pop. These days he is easily pitched around in Houston, but if the Astros management would swallow most of the 18 mil, (hey they are going to have to pay it anyway and Lee’s presence isn’t going to change the Astros fortunes next year), some contender could benefit.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Lee’s “clutch” stats:
      RISP: .259/.341/.410
      2 OUT, RISP: .239/.341/.352
      Late and Close: .203/.298/.270
      High leverage situations: .178/.243/.287

      He is absolutely not a clutch hitter.

    • A.J. - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      If they covered a good portion of next year he could be an OK fit for the Braves. He’s a righty, and they sure need that. He’s probably the best bat against lefties that will make it through to the Braves in waivers.

      But I imagine they’ll be looking much more scrap heap than Lee. Especially since they are set in RF now that they have Constanza [sarcasm].

    • spudchukar - Aug 15, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      OK, Falc, I stand corrected, statwise. But as I indicated, he isn’t going to get many pitches to hit, particularly in meaningful situations, in that Astro lineup. My comment was based solely on what I have seen him do vs. St. Louis. He still can turn on an inside heater with power, while capable of going the opposite way with breaking balls. At least he can vs. the Cards where he sports a .295/.385/.953 for 2011.

  5. bigxrob - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    I saw the headline and thought Craig was baiting the philly fans w/ another Ryan Howard post.

  6. plmathfoto - Aug 15, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    And this comes right after the Jorge Posada post as well, thought slugger was a little too strong to describe him though, but thought this might be a double post bout the same guy lol, no defense and washed up, aboslutely!

  7. dodger88 - Aug 15, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Ken Williams’ phone and computer must be broken if he let the likes of Lee and Soriano go uncliamed.

  8. jeffbbf - Aug 15, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Aside from the $18 mil Soriano’s due through 2014, his contract bonuses include a $75,000 bonus for winning a gold glove. A friggin’ gold glove. Now if that doesn’t give you some indication of just how out of touch the Cubs’ brass is, I’m not sure what would.

    • jimbo1949 - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      $75,000 bonus for winning a gold glove would be more out of touch from Soriano’s ego. Cubs rightly figured it was a safe bet.

      • spudchukar - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        Yeah, like promising Ryan Howard an extra Mil, if he steals 50 bases.

    • 78mu - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      Soriano wasn’t horrible at throwing runners out the last two years (though he had mor errors than assists). Of course that’s probably because making a throw meant that he had to a) get to the ball and b) get it in his glove before he threw it. 3rd base coaches are programmed to just keep waving everyone home on any balls hit to left against the Cubs.

    • ta192 - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM

      Many, many years ago, Dave Kingman signed a contract with the Cubs and got real excited when he saw there was a bonus clause worth $50K if he set a new club RBI record…hehehe…and in those days, it was only 190…
      One of my favorite baseball stories!

  9. kingbuccaneer - Aug 15, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Hendry must have some serious dirt on the sCrubs brass because he sure is giving Ed Wade a run for his money on the worst GM award…

  10. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Only the Cubs do so I’m not sure how they would work out that trade. Maybe they could trick the Astros into selling off another chunk of their lineup?

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