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Alfonso Soriano

A few weeks ago, I had this to say about the Rangers' second baseman (and shortstop, but whatever, the point is still valid):

Texas' middle infield defense is very, very bad. The 2B/SS combination of Alfonso Soriano and Mike Young were 41 runs below average in the field last year (according to UZR), costing the Rangers about four wins. Coincidentally, according to BRAA, they were 41 runs above average at the plate, meaning that the net result is a perfectly league-average middle infield.

Alfonso Soriano: +10 runs hitting, -20 fielding, -10 total
Mark Ellis: +16 hitting, +15 fielding, +31 total

I'm not kidding when I say that Soriano might be the most overrated player in baseball.

Somehow, Jon Daniels was able to turn said overrated and soon-to-be-wildly-overpaid second baseman into Brad Wilkerson - a 28 year old outfielder with a .365 career OBP despite a down year in 2005 due to injury - Terrmel Sledge, who instantly makes Kevin Mench expendable, and a PTBNL, just for good measure.

Alfonso Soriano is not a very good player. He's roughly an average hitter when you take him away from Ameriquest Field, and he's one of the worst everyday defensive players that baseball's seen in a while. He's also going to get about $10m in arbitration. Any half-decent GM would probably be looking to just dump his salary on someone else, but Daniels was able to get a pretty shiny return, in part because he's a pretty shrewd guy, and in part because Jim Bowden's a massive tool.

Personally, I can't believe this happened. I don't think Wilkerson/Sledge/PTBNL are necessarily the answer to what's wrong with Texas, but my opinion of Soriano is so low that I can't help but think this is an outrageously one-sided deal.

Update: the PTBNL is, apparently, Armando Galarraga, who was one of Washington's better pitching prospects before getting dealt. Nats fans had better be praying that Wilkerson stays hurt, because otherwise there's just no way that this ends up looking real good.