I'm not sure if I want the Detroit Tigers to add Alfonso Soriano or not. One thing I am absolutely certain of, however, is that I do not want him on the Chicago White Sox. The rumor du jour is that Washington will gladly take Brandon McCarthy off the Sox hands in return for Soriano. I'm sure the White Sox will have to pony up more than the just the righthander to land the All-Star slugger, but they can probably afford to part with one of their prized arms in order to make another title run.
This rumor does make me wonder why so many are balking at the notion of sending Humberto Sanchez to the Nats as part of a Soriano deal. If the White Sox are willing to part with a top prospect for Soriano, why shouldn't the Tigs? Yes, the John Smoltz trade of 1987 still rubs folks the wrong way, but is anyone missing Justin Thompson? Francisco Cordero had a couple of solid years for Texas, but would he have made a big impact here?
Prospects are prospects until proven otherwise. Tigers fans, perhaps, more than anyone else, should be aware of this. Has anyone seen as many non-prospect prospects as we have?
Now, I'm not about to send Washington the entire Detroit farm system for Soriano, who most likely will end up a rental, but as the old saying goes "you have to give up something to get something". The Tigers do have a number of young quality arms in the system--Jeremy Bonderman, Justin Verlander, Joel Zumaya, Nate Robertson and, hopefully, Andrew Miller--so it's not like Sanchez is the be-all, end-all. Besides, whose to say that the Tigers couldn't make a play for Soriano beyond '06?
If the Tigers were to make some post-season noise, Soriano got to see this town at it's baseball crazy best, the Tigers clear some more salaries off the books (as more contracts expire) and Mr. Ilitch actually makes some money this year, whose to say the Tigers couldn't sway Soriano to stay in the Olde English D?
Even if Soriano jumped shipped on Detroit, wouldn't the Tigers be in line for some compensatory draft picks for losing a top tier free agent? Two more picks in the top 40 or so prospects is also a way to ensure another wave of strong arms fills the Tigers' system
Having said all this, do I want Soriano in Detroit? Maybe. For the right price. One thing I do know, is that no one in Tigertown can feel very good about the notion of Alfonso Soriano joining the already impressive lineup in Chicago.