Jim Hendry's offseason of trying to build the Cubs into immediate contender took another turn this afternoon. While most of us were worrying about the Bears and Jets, Jim Hendry was busy signing Alfonso Soriano to an 8 year $136 million deal. At an average of $17 million a year Soraino will joing Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez in one of the most exciting offenses in the National League.
Soriano brings a unique mixture of speed and power to the Cubs. The Cubs have never had a 40/40 player. Soriano joined the club last season while playing leftfield for the Washington Nationals. The short power alleys at Wrigley Field will be inviting to Dominican native. Since 2001 Soriano has hit 18, 39, 38, 28, 36 and last season a career high 46 homeruns. Durning the same time he has stolen 43, 41, 35, 18, 30 and 41.
Soriano is a five time All Star. The only question that remains is where will Soriano play for the Cubs. Rumors have him possibly taking over CF for Juan Pierre. I'm sure we will learn more in the next few days.
This move along with the signing of Ramirez has given Hendry and the Cubs the biggest MLB offseason to date. Before we eat our Thanksgiving Turkey the Cubs look completely different from the team that finished dead last in the NL. While there continues to be a ton of work needed on the Cubs pitching, Hendry is well on his way to the one year turnaround he aimed for.
Excuse me but this is just setting in. All that I can say is "WOW!". Congrats to Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs.