I watch a decent portion of most Cubs games, which I think is quite a feat for a fan of this 2012 Cubs team. I’ll admit I sometimes zone out, only coming back to earth if runs are scored (which they usually aren’t). And when I’m half-watching these games, one of the names that come up almost never is Geovany Soto. Maybe it’s because I’m multitasking; or maybe he just doesn’t do much. If I had to guess, I’d go with the latter.
The Cubs have a conundrum at catcher because of Soto’s injury issues and declining performance alongside the potential of the younger Wellington Castillo and Steve Clevenger. It’s hard to believe that only four years ago, this same Soto was the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, named to the 2008 All-Star team and caught Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter.
A lot has changed, not just with Soto, but with the team as well. With new faces of the franchise and in the front office, the team is finally headed in a new direction, one that will presumably bring them success in the future. And when you look at guys like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, it’s difficult to see where Soto fits in there.
I’m not entirely convinced that Castillo or Clevenger have what it takes to win a World Series, but as of right now, they are undoubtedly the better options for this Cubs team of the future.
Soto has suffered injury after injury the past few seasons – his last stint on the DL just a few weeks ago. His numbers are also fairly weak, batting .160 with five home runs and 9 RBI. Not to mention the fact that he’s making $4.3 million and won’t become a free agent until the end of next season.
As much as I’ve liked Geo as a Cub, it’s pretty obvious his time on this team is coming to an end. He doesn’t have a whole lot to offer a team who will likely be in its prime in a few years. I remember watching him his rookie season, hitting 23 home runs and 86 RBI on the way to 95 wins (seems like a lifetime ago) for the NL Central Champions. He’s just not the same player that he used to be, and it’s unfortunate that he’s not because he’s always been hardworking and committed to this team.
So now Theo Epstein has a tough decision to make. Does he try to trade him (with what little value he still has), or just drop him? Hands down, if the Cubs get a decent offer for Soto, they should take it. He’s making way too much money here, and that $4.3 mil could be put to good use elsewhere. Despite his lackluster hitting, Soto is a powerful catcher and might be of use to an already strong team (which in case you didn’t know, the Cubs are not).
As a Cubs fan, I’ll be sorry to see Geo go, but the Cubs’ best bet is to trade him – and fast.
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