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What Part Of No Didn't Jim Bowden Understand?

[December 9th] -- This isn't going to be pretty.

When Jim Bowden and the Washington Nationals announced that they had acquired the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano, they made if very clear that he would be an outfielder in D.C.

Alfonso Soriano, having never been contacted by either team prior to the trade, has made if very clear that he will not under any circumstance play any position in D.C. other than his natural second base. Just after the trade was announced, Soriano said, "I didn't change positions when I came to Texas from the Yankees. Why would I change now? I'm an All-Star at second base." Well, he made his feelings pretty clear, but he didn't say he wouldn't play a new position. He simply asked rhetorically why he should.

It's not rhetoric any longer.

In an interview with the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, he "fine tuned" his comments: he is NOT going to play in the outfield. "I have the same position [on moving] as I always had when I was with Texas," Soriano told the newspaper. "I said that I'm not going to change from second base." Period. End of discussion. Next question.

Soriano then said something interesting: "I think that if they traded for me, it's to play second base." Soriano may believe that Bowden has every intention of trading Vidro for some pitching help, and he doesn't want to publicly admit it for fear of Vidro losing value if other GM's knew that he was going to move Vidro.

And that may be exactly what's going to happen. Perhaps Bowden is just trying to keep his intentions quiet until he gets a deal for Vidro done. Of course, if Bowden was going to play Soriano in the outfield, he now realizes that it's just not going to work, and he's now going to have to trade Vidro anyway.

Here's another possibility. Bowden didn't like Wilkerson, didn't want Sledge, and didn't know Gallagara. Maybe he made this trade with the sole purpose in mind of trading Soriano to one of the "have" teams chasing a pennant in June or July. This would be a crafty way of replenishing the farm system.

Man, this is one weird deal.


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