Alfonso Soriano, Five Years In: $85M For THIS?

Back in November 2006 the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano and I wrote about it here: Cubs Get Soriano, Now Expected to Lose Only 87 Games Next Year! Enthused, I was not.

Just for fun, let’s revisit my closing (clicking the link goes to his stats):

Instead, Cub fans can expect to see more Soriano numbers like this: 125, 157, 130, 121, 125, 160. Those are the number of strikeouts Soriano had in the years he’s been a starter (starting in 2001). And in 2006, he had 46 home runs but only 95 RBI; since 46 of the 95 RBI were him driving himself in, that leaves only 49 other baserunners driven in all year, including all of his two-run, three-run, and grand slam home runs, walks with the bases loaded, singles with runners in scoring position, doubles with guys on first, etc. That’s only one teammate driven in every 3 games or so. Not real impressive; with 46 home runs, I’d like to see an RBI number up around 125-140.

So – what are his strikeout, HR, and RBI numbers since 2006? Here they are (2011 numbers updated Oct 6 to reflect the entire season):

2007 135 130 33 70
2008 109 103 29 75
2009 117 118 20 55
2010 147 123 24 79
2011 137 113 26 88
TOTALS 645 590 132 367
AVG 129 118 26 73

Some pretty mediocre numbers there. But nearly a strikeout per game, like always. Note the RBI numbers – never broke 90, and averaged only 73 over the five years. Only one time with at least 30 HR, averaging 26. Only three seasons of 130 GP or more.

All that for $17M per season. For a guy who is paid to produce runs, and is a liability on defense and disappears in the playoffs.

This is, I suspect, Exhibit A for Why Jim Hendry Got His Ass Fired.  If not, it should be.