if, as joe strauss speculates, it might take both a starter (marquis) and and a prospect to land alfonso soriano, then forget it; it's a bad idea. this guy's just a souped-up version of encarnacion -- high-strikeout, low on-base. he does have true power (averages 30 hr a year) as well as true speed (30 for 32 as a base stealer last year). but his low obp -- career avg is .320, career high is .338 -- makes him a bad fit for the #2 slot in the order, and that's the cards' most serious offensive concern. for the moment i guess bigbie hits 2d against right-handed pitchers and spivey (if he picks it up a bit) hits there against lefties, but both are coming off terrible seasons, hitting feebly this spring, and have lingering health issues. plenty of room to upgrade. so if the cards do add a bat, a left-handed hitter with good on-base skills would be the ideal acquisition.
and that ain't soriano. he'd be a #6 hitter, a right-handed power source on a team already blessed with two great ones (pujols rolen) and one passable one (en'cion). he'd also soak up payroll resources that could be put to better use. soriano will make $10m this season, and $10m spent now is $10m that can't be spent later on in case, say, luis gonzalez becomes available or the bullpen needs help or a rent-an-ace starting pitcher (jason schmidt??) ends up on the market midseason.
we haven't even talked about soriano's unreliable defense -- can't have that behind the cards' ground-em-out rotation -- or his attitude. any player who tells a man like frank robinson "shove it, i ain't playing" is one i don't want on my side.
the strauss article also suggests that adam wainwright may have earned a spot in the bullpen, echoing thoughts shared yesterday by both derrick goold at birdland and matt leach at the official site. rah for wainwright; he has earned it. wouldn't shock me to see him work his way into the al reyes / kiko calero slot; tony/dunc would appear to have gained some trust in him already, and a few good april outings can go a long way with those two.
another tidbit from strauss' article:
four bench spots are essentially claimed: bennett, taguchi, spezio, and luna/cruz. the remaining spot will likely go to a left-handed hitter -- j-rod, schumaker, miles, daubach, and duncan all qualify. the best hitter of the bunch may well be daubach, but he has no defensive value; j-rod's out of favor, miles hasn't had a chance to show very much, and duncan is bound for memphis to learn to play outfield. so who knows, it might break just right for schumaker. his comps at baseball prospectus are better than i'd have thought -- #1 is del unser, who was good enough to amass 5,000 big-league at-bats, and comps 2-4 (rowland office, tim corcoran, and joe keough) all had careers, kind of. his MLE line for 2005 was poor (.262 / .301 / .356), but PECOTA makes a surprisingly bullish 2006 forecast: .267 / .321 / .356. (ZIPS has him at .257 / .305 / .339.)
a whole paragraph about skip schumaker; is that what it's come to? but if the kid could play second he might be in line for 250 at-bats . . . .