If you have not heard the news around the MLB, the Giants’ Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for high levels of testosterone, a banned high performance-enhancing substance that violates MLB’s drug agreement among owners and players.
With the moves the Los Angeles Dodgers made before the trade deadline and the addition San Francisco made by adding outfielder Hunter Pence to the lineup, it was clear this would be a two-dog race in the NL West.
But even with San Francisco’s stellar rotation, it’s hard seeing the Giants keeping pace with the Dodgers and reaching the post-season if they don’t fill the void they now have in left field with Cabrera’s 50 game suspension. Even if the Giants do reach the playoffs, the All-Star MVP won’t be eligible to participate until the league championship series, and that’s if the Giants win the division. Otherwise, the suspension carries into the 2013 season.
Melky’s bat is going to be very hard to replace considering he is leading the league in hits (159) and is second only to Andrew McCutchen (.359) in batting average (.346).
Giant fans are going to be very angry that their best option going forward is for management in San Francisco to clear waivers for Soriano. Here are a few reasons why.
Soriano has been perfect in left-field – while Cabrera’s fielding percentage sits at .979 – for the Chicago Cubs this season and adding him means you would not have to swap players around to accommodate Soriano in left and fill Cabrera’s spot in the outfield with an inexperienced position player since Soriano and Cabrera play the same position.
Even though Soriano’s average and on-base-percentage are distant from that of Cabrera’s numbers in those same categories, Soriano has 10 more home runs and 11 more RBI than Cabrera with most of those numbers sky-rocketing in the middle of May when Soriano switched to a lighter bat.
Quickly looking at all the natural left-fielders in the game, Soriano is the only option for San Francisco as the rest of the group are locked up with their current team who are in a pennant race.
The Cubs would like to part ways with Soriano and much of the fan base wants Soriano out of town as well, so a move to a west coast team that has a chance for a World Series appearance is the perfect fit for Soriano.
Soriano is a veteran and nearing the end of his career, he deserves to go somewhere he has a chance to get one final ring and the Giants are a team that can reach the World Series if they can avoid any more suspensions the rest of the season.
Chicago will be more than happy to eat most of what is remaining on Soriano’s contract in return for a prospect or two.
What the Cubs must do is get the best return they can from the Giants for a Soriano trade. Chicago holds the leverage over San Francisco as the Giants are in desperate need of a replacement left fielder with a power bat and should not agree to a trade until a highly regarded prospect is coming to Chicago in return.
Follow on Twitter: @midwayMars