The Hot Stove season is in full swing which means the New York Yankees are once again trying to put together the best video game lineup they possibly can. If there is a big name out there you can be sure that the Yankees will at least inquire.
The latest name to surface in connection to the Yankees is Joakim Soria, the All-Star closer for the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees tried to entice the Royals with their top catching prospect last summer but the Royals didn’t bite. Who knows if the two sides will try to come to an agreement this off-season, I don’t really care if they do or don’t and that isn’t the point of this article. The point is that the Yankees are on Soria’s no-trade list along with some other teams, including one that hits closer to home.
The Yankees connection heated up recently when Joakim Soria told a Mexican newspaper that he would not block a trade to the Yankees despite his right to do so. The other clubs in his no-trade clause are the Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals and Cubs. Yep, the Tigers.
The Tigers have never been publicly linked to any rumors involving Joakim Soria but the point of this article is about the changing perception surrounding the Tigers and the fact that Soria lumps them in with five other high profile clubs.
Players include teams on their no-trade list for a variety of reasons but it is pretty clear that Soria’s list is made up of anything but cities viewed as baseball purgatories. No, his no-trade clause was put into his contract to ensure that Soria maintains leverage where it counts: the bank. Joakim even admits that the list was included in his contract by his agent as a strategic move.
What do the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs and Tigers all have in common? They all desire to be winners and have a track record of shelling out big bucks to help them get there. You can bet that if any one of those clubs has interest in Soria they will be willing to show him the money. It isn’t about blocking teams in places he doesn’t want to go, it is about making a move to a place he does want to go on his terms.
It wasn’t long ago that a no-trade list including the Tigers would have also listed the Pirates, Nationals and Orioles. I like the Tigers’ new peer group a lot more.
In addition to contributing to Motor City Bengals, Zac Snyder is the SideLion Report lead blogger. Please vote for SideLionReport.com for 2010 Sports Blog of the Year at BallHyped.com.