In the S-T today, Alfonso Soriano is already bitching about moving to the outfield:
"I have the same position [on moving] as I always had when I was with Texas," Soriano said. "I said that I'm not going to change from second base."
That was a point of contention with Texas, which wanted Soriano to consider playing shortstop or the outfield when he was acquired for American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez in February 2003. But Soriano was adamant about playing second base, and Michael Young moved to shortstop.
Soriano's unwillingness to change positions hurt his trade value. So did the fact he could earn $10 million through salary arbitration and will be a free agent next winter.
The Nationals are believed to want Soriano, considered a mediocre defender, to play left field or center field if their three-time All-Star second baseman, Jose Vidro, is healthy. Vidro has battled knee problems for two years.
Soriano said he had not spoken with anyone from the Nationals, but he doubts they want him to move positions. Said Soriano: "I think that if they traded for me, it's to play second base."
Asked if he would use any control he might have to prevent a position switch, Soriano said: "Obviously, I have the control. Of course I'm not going to play the outfield."
I think calling Soriano a "mediocre defender" is probably overstating his capabilities. He's an awful defender, at least at second base.
At the end of the day, though, Soriano doesn't have much choice. And I don't think a hard-ass like Frank Robinson is going to coddle Soriano. My guess is, barring a Vidro trade or injury, Soriano will be in the outfield on Opening Day.