Barracudas de Montpellier signed 2B/SS-R Ariel Soriano to an unknown contract
When it comes to unaffiliated baseball one of the things I am always on the lookout for are wacky trades and transactions. Unlike affiliated baseball, the unaffiliated world is one that can still be quite wild when it comes to transactions between teams. I keep tabs on plenty of news sources from various unaffiliated leagues. While I use these sources for all kinds of reasons one of the main ones is to fish around for odd transactions. Take, for instance, the star infielder for Templiers de Sénart, Ariel Soriano, jumping ship, of his own accord, after only a handful of games to rival Barracudas de Montpellier.
To say that the above transaction would not happen in affiliated baseball is an understatement. To give you a bit of an idea of how good of a player Soriano is in France’s Division 1, he slashed .369/.423/.539 in 141 plate appearances in 2019 for Huskies de Rouen. That was his last full season in D1 and it was a season where he was clearly the best player in the league and helped guide the Huskies to yet another D1 championship. This has been par for the course for Soriano throughout his time in D1, he is a standout in the league and was specifically signed by the Templiers for the 2021 season to make a run at the Huskies crown.
The Templiers started out the season as a powerhouse, but Soriano struggled. In 14 plate appearances, he slashed .071/.278/.071. That’s well, not good, but it’s also after only 14 plate appearances. One would think that a player of Soriano’s pedigree would be given the time he needed to settle in and produce at the level he always had previously. Not in the world of unaffiliated European professional baseball, and for Soriano it’s safe to assume that the Templiers not even bothering to have him on the roster for the 2021 Confederation of European Baseball Cup was the likely final straw.
From what I have been able to gather after only four games with the Templiers Soriano asked for and was granted his release. He immediately signed with the Barracudas who just happens to be the Templiers’ main competition in D1’s Pool B. As of this writing, the two are in an absolute dead heat for tops in the pool with exact 11-0 records. With the Barracudas, Soriano has had 14 plate appearances and is slashing .357/.357/.786. Again, a very small sample but much more in line with what Soriano has produced in D1 in the past. It’s clear that the Barracudas have vastly improved themselves with the signing of Soriano and are even more of a playoff threat now.
It’s almost insane to think of a transaction such as this one from a baseball fan who only pays attention to the affiliated leagues and Major League Baseball. The baseball world is rather large my friend, so please keep that in mind. Other professional leagues (I’d refer you to the definition I use for professional which includes the outdated semi-pro label under the professional umbrella) operate very differently and think far more short term. That’s why as insane as it may seem it makes sense that the Templiers would let Soriano walk after only a few games knowing he’d likely sign with another top team. It’s both crazy and makes a lot of sense, that’s unaffiliated baseball for you.
Lead photo courtesy of Benjamin Witte – Le Baseblog