I'm not exactly a big Soriano booster, so if they were to sign him, I'd learn to live with it, and probably come to like it, but it's not going to kill me if he turns them down. I've been over this again and again, but the reason the Angels lost the AL West last year was not because of a lack of offense. They lost the AL West because they could not consistently catch and throw the baseball. That isn't to say that they had a good offense. They didn't. But the defense is what did them in. Why do I bring that up? Because according to the Times, the Angels may be considering playing him at second base and moving Kendrick to first. If the Angels sign Soriano, they have two legitimate options*:
- Kotchman or Morales at first, Kendrick at second, Soriano in center, Rivera in left, GA at DH; or
- Kendrick at first; Soriano at second; Rivera in center; Anderson in left; and Kotchman or Morales at DH (or another bat, should they sign one).
Ya know, I've been pretty hard on John Lackey and Ervin Santana for nibbling around the strike zone and trying to strike everyone out instead of getting early count outs. If the Angels put out the defense laid out in option one, I'd understand why they may not want to let opposing hitters put the ball in play. And to be fair, if Soriano goes somewhere else, none of this matters. If the Angels make a move for a center fielder in addition to Soriano, the analysis changes. If someone gets hurt in spring training, the analysis changes. What concerns me is that the Angels might even consider option one. It simply makes no sense.
*Note, options subject to change based on subsequent free agent signings.