It’s a whole new ballgame. Now that Alfonso Soriano has signed with the Cubs, the free agent market takes on a different look. Soriano is gone. Alou is gone. Sheffield is gone. If you’re a GM in search of a big bat, you better move quickly, because there aren’t too many options left out there.
Here’s a rundown of what all the different papers are saying about Soriano’s deal and it’s impact on other teams:
In New York, the Times is claiming that Soriano’s deal is a sure sign that the Tribune Company plans to sell the Cubs, and that the notoriously cheap company has no intention of being the one to write Soriano those big checks.
MLB.com is saying that the Phillies have shifted to Plan B, now that Soriano is off the market. The Phils, who previously stated their desire to trade LF Pat Burrell may now decide to keep him, though the team still appears determined to deal him and absorb a portion of the $27 million that he is owed over the next two seasons. If Burrell is dealt, Aaron Rowand could shift to left, with Shane Victorino and Jeff Conine in center and right, respectively.
The Philadelphia Inquirer says GM Pat Gillick will need to get creative, maybe even desperate. The Inkie is suggesting that Gillick “approach Jimmy Rollins and see if he’d move to third base so the Phils can try to trade for Miguel Tejada, who is insistent on playing shortstop,” which is about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.
Jay Mariotti thinks the Soriano deal is a stroke of genius and wonders why the White Sox didn’t try to get the 40-40 man. Mariotti, it should be pointed out, is an idiot.
The L.A. Times says Soriano’s decision to sign with the Cubs prompted the Dodgers to sign Nomar for two years and $18 million.
Finally, the New York Daily News says the Angels, who are looking for a bat to add to their lineup, say they’ll try and trade for Manny, now that they’ve lost out on Soriano.