SORIANO COMING HOME
Now, it that a good thing or a bad thing?
Since that December trade that brought Soriano to Washington, he has been adamant that he is a second baseman, period. He knows that Jose Vidro is healthy, and that, barring another injury, he'll either be an outfielder or a member of another team very shortly. He seems unconcerned with the impending standoff. "I can't wait [to go to camp]," Soriano said following the loss. "I want to play so I can get my timing back."
What about a possible position change? "No comment" says Soriano. Frank Robinson will try once again to talk him into moving to the outfield, but no one knows if he'll have any more luck this time around. Common sense says that a move to the outfield will only make Soriano more valuable on the free agent market this fall; he must know that. So why won't he move? My guess is that he believes a second baseman who can hit 30 home runs is more valuable than an outfielder who can hit 30 home runs. Normally, that would be true, but his poor defense negates much of his "unique" qualities.
Robinson says that things might not be settled until "ten minutes before opening day." I doubt it. With his job on the line, and with his starting rotation so very thin, Jim Bowden will probably trade Soriano the moment he is certain that he won't move to the outfield.
I have no doubt that there are two or three trades lined up as we speak, just waiting for Soriano to make his move. One will bring pitching, another will bring a leadoff hitter. Either way, the Nationals will be an improved team, addition by subtraction so to speak.
Should be an interesting week.
Maybe his poor play in the WBC humbled him.
Perhaps he is afraid to try something new, that he worries that he'll perform poorly in front of 30,000 people every night.
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