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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Would Soriano be good fit with Tigers?

By Bruce Levine

Rafael Soriano
It's time Alfonso Soriano left the field became a full-time designated hitter.
Now that the Tigers' Victor Martinez has been lost for the season, it appears to some that Detroit's answer would be a trade for the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano.

There are pros and cons to that premise.

Is it realistic to believe that the Tigers brass thinks Soriano would be a good fit? Can Detroit look past the 113 strikeouts and .289 on-base percentage?

Soriano would have to replace a player who hit. 330 and had an on-base percentage of.380. The Cubs outfielder out homered Martinez 26 to 12, but that is the only area in which Soriano had an edge.
At age 36, it is time for the Cub left fielder to become a full-time designated hitter.

Soriano told me at the Cubs Convention that he would consider a trade if both the city and the team were a fit for him and his familly.

What the Tigers offer is a great manager in Jim Leyland and a team that should win a division again in 2012.

The reason Soriano must be made happy is that he has complete no-trade rights because he's been in the majors 10 years, including five with the same team.

The compensation for Soriano would likely come in the form of relief for some of the $54 million still owed over the next three seasons. The Cubs likely would eat 80 percent of the money as long as they got back a decent prospect.

Soriano, who is among the most well liked players in the game, would be an easy clubhouse fit.

Adding Matt Garza into the mix is a bit of a reach. The Cubs wanted two top pitchers when the teams were talking trade 10 days ago. The Tigers refused to give up Jacob Turner and a young lefty, and nothing has changed on that front since then.

A better fit in the short term for Detroit may be the return of Johnny Damon on a one-year deal. The left-handed bat is something that might work out as an alternative to trading for Soriano.