Soriano-Wilkerson trade… Unbalanced trade?

I admit it.  When I heard about the Soriano-Wilkerson trade (Termell Sledge and Armando Galarraga were also sent to the Rangers) , I thought the Nats had gotten the better of the deal.  I mean Soriano had 36 homers and 43 doubles and 104 rbis.  Compared to Wilkerson who barely broke the double-digit mark with 11 homers and only hit .248.

Well, every review of the trade I’ve seen has seen it the other way around and they make some pretty convincing arguements. 

First, let get one thing out of the way.  Never let total stats fool you.  Yes, Soriano had 81 extra-base hits.  But it took some 677 plate appearances to do it.  That translated to a .512 slugging percentage for Alfonso for the year.  Not bad.  Actually very good.  But still in the “human” category. 

More importantly are Soriano’s home/away splits.  He has been playing in a good hitter’s park.  Check out the stats:

 Home Away
Avg. .315 .224
OBP .355 .265
SLUG .656 .374
OPS 1.011 .639

I grabbed these from National Interest who evaluates the trade from a Nat’s fan point of view.  Given Soriano’s splits, Wilkerson’s much higher OBP (.351 last year, .365 career) and the fact that Wilkerson is a year younger, this deal isn’t as open and shut as it seems. 

Add to that the loss of Sledge and Galarraga for whatever they are worth plus the contract baggage that comes with Soriano (eligible for arbitration after making $7.5m), I can see why Nats fans might be hesitant to celebrate.

From another perspective, Roto Authority Fantasy Baseball projects ’06 Soriano to 24 homers, 80 rbis, and a .252 batting average.  Check out the article for their full analysis.


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