ALFONSO SORIANO 2006
Alfonso Soriano came to Washington as a salary dump. By the time the 2006 season ended, Nats fans considered him a housewarming gift from the expansion Senators. You know, the Texas Rangers.
As free agency loomed for Soriano, Texas dumped him and his $10 million salary for three players highlighted by Armando Galarraga. Blessed with power and speed, there was a question how that would translate into the old cookie-cutter at RFK.
Just fine. Thanks for asking.
The Nats had the slick fielding Jose Vidro at second and sent Soriano out of the infield and into left. If it bothered him, his performance failed to show it.
As the Nats settled in the back of the NL East, Soriano put on an offensive show for the ages. He smashed a franchise-record 46 home runs, a number he never matched again. On top of his Frank Howard imitation, he stole 41 bags. The fourth, and most recent, player to join the 40-40 club. His 46 bombs are the most of anyone pulling it off.
On a quiet September Saturday night, Soriano made history in the bottom of the first. A single then his 40th swipe came off Milwaukee Brewers starter Dave Bush.
Soriano would sign that winter with the Chicago Cubs, but was never able at Wrigley to reproduce his numbers in Washington.
We still appreciate the thoughtful gift from the Metroplex.