After the Nationals acquired second baseman Alfonso Soriano from the Rangers for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge and right-hander Armando Galarraga on Dec. 7, Jose Vidro, a second baseman himself, thought the Nationals made a great move because of the run production Soriano could potentially bring to the starting lineup.
According to Vidro, Nationals general manager Jim Bowden called Vidro's agent, Seth Levinson, and told him that Soriano would play left field. But Vidro would quickly find out through media reports about Soriano's refusal to switch positions. Vidro then started to have mixed feelings about the trade.
"Obviously, I was very happy that we acquired a player like Soriano. Then all this stuff started coming out in the paper about Soriano feeling unhappy about the team trying to make him an outfielder. I then had mixed feelings after that. Obviously, I was little confused," Vidro told MLB.com on Monday night.
"I understand completely what Soriano was saying. If I was in his situation, I would probably be doing the same thing. A quality player like him is coming to a new team. Obviously, he wants to play his position. ... Soriano is defending himself. I'm not mad at him at all."
Vidro, 31, said it's not his job to reach out to Soriano, 29. He feels it's up to Bowden, assistant general managers Bob Boone and Tony Siegle and manager Frank Robinson to settle the second base controversy before Spring Training starts.
"They have to do the best thing possible to try to make this work out," Vidro said. "It's either one of us (has to go) or have both of us on the team. Hopefully, all this will be cleared up and we will both be in the lineup at the same time. It's going to be one helluva lineup if we do that.
"If this doesn't clear up, I expect a call soon. I don't want to get to Spring Training and have (the media) all over me about the same situation. It's not going to be a happy camp. I don't want to go through that."
Vidro also doesn't want to go through a fourth consecutive year of right knee problems. After being shelved by an ankle injury between the beginning of May and the beginning of July, Vidro was limited to 184 at-bats after the All-Star break and just 19 at-bats in September because of a sore right knee.
Vidro hasn't been injury-free since 2002, when he hit .315 with 19 home runs and 96 RBIs for the Expos. Since the second half of the 2003 season, Vidro had had problems with his right knee. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee on Sept. 8, 2004.
According to Vidro, his knee is feeling stronger after receiving a shot from Dr. John Uribe last November. Vidro said he continues to do exercises on the right knee and has starting taking batting practice. Vidro is planning to see Dr. Bruce Thomas, the team's primary care sports medicine physician, on Jan. 10 to get the knee evaluated.
"My knee is feeling really good. I've been working out very hard. I'm very happy the way things are going," Vidro said. "We are almost two months away from Spring Training and it's going to be fun for me next year. I'm glad that I didn't have surgery. I haven't had problems in back-to-back days. When the doctor sees me, he is going to be pleasantly surprised."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.