The Morning After...
Here's a rundown of what they're saying about the Soriano non-trade:
DC Sports Chick:
But even if Soriano ultimately leaves town, the Nats may have made the right choice anyway because they did the right thing for the right reasons. Many will remember it. The small loss Washington may suffer in personnel -- the difference between the good-but-not-great prospects they could have gotten yesterday and the two draft picks they'd receive as compensation if Soriano leaves -- may be dwarfed by the credibility they immediately gain with their fans, their players and their biggest star.
I realize that the Nats are not contenders in any sense of the word for the rest of the season, but that doesn't mean I want to watch the Kansas City Royals for the next couple of months. Give me a team that can win some games, like the team that played last week (not the one that played over the weekend)! If that means Soriano stays in town for the remainder of the season and then leaves, fine. It's a good decision, both team morale- and fan- wise.
The Curly W:
The Beltway Boys: (No, not More-teeny-tiny-table-tops and Freddie "The Beatle" Barnes...)
Bowden got what he deserved. He told everyone who would listen about how eager he was to shop Soriano and how high the price would be, to the point where other GMs seem to have just tuned him out. Bowden was bluffing so hard at poker that the other 29 guys at the table just checked their bets. Ol' LeatherTrousers drove the price for Soriano so high that other teams simply punked him by offering their comparable stars for less. See: Abreu, Bobby and Lee, Carlos. At the last minute, Bowden made a pathetic attempt to trick other GMs into thinking the Nats were trying to re-sign Soriano, and no one fell for it.
I think that Bowden woke up this morning ready to trade Soriano for the prospects he thought he was worth or he was going to keep his star. While the two haven't come close to an agreement for an extension or a new deal, I'm sure that both sides feel good enough about where things are heading that Bowden was willing to take this chance. He can now say to Soriano, "Okay big fella, you said you wanted to stay and I turned down two very good offers to keep you here. Show me your appreciation by finalizing a deal now so the fans know that you meant what you said." I think it'll work.
So, good for Bowden. I guess the only concern I have is whether his obsession with Soriano and the accompanying trade talk prevented him from making deals for Ortiz, Armas or Hernandez, but given how crappy they've been pitching, it's unlikely the Nats would've received anything useful anyway. (And there's a chance that Armas and Ortiz could return draft picks at the end of the season anyway).
RFK Cheapseats has some words of advice for Soriano:
You've made numerous claims on numerous different occasions that DC is where you want to be. You love the City. You love the Fans. You love the Organization, and so on and so forth. It's time for you to prove it.
The Franchise has now committed a great show of good faith, and shown a great deal of committment to you as a person and as a player, by NOT trading you when every ounce of conventional wisdom as it related to the Rebuilding Strategy of the New Regime indicated that they SHOULD have.
People can sit around and armchair GM and complain all the live long day. The problem is as DC Sport Chick pointed out, we don’t know what was and was not offered for Soriano. Furthermore, we don’t have crystal balls and can’t look into the future and tell if the prospects that were offered would be better than the compensation picks that we could get if Soriano departs as a UFA. So we cannot accurately judge whether or not Bowden made the right choice in hanging on to Soriano.
The bottom line though is this, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Bowden knows that that he has two picks in the Top 35 in hand should Soriano depart after the season as a UFA. Other GM’s would have been required to part with something of clearly greater value than that in order to get Soriano. And why not? Other GM’s were calling that price “insane” and “astronomical” for a two month rental. I happen to think they’re right in that regard. However, that does not mean that somebody would not have paid that price at some point in time. The fact that Soriano was not traded means that nobody was willing to pay that price yesterday. It doesn't mean Bowden "couldn't get the job done."