Alfonso Soriano refuses to play

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Monday, March 20, 2006

The Washington DC Nationals are in spring training

The Washington Nationals' biggest offseason acquisition, Alfonso Soriano, refused Monday to take left field in the Nationals' spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals threatened Soriano with disqualification if he refuses to take the field Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, which could result in the forfeiture of some or all of his 2006 salary, which is in the neighborhood of $10 million.

Soriano, normally a second baseman, has steadfastly refused to be moved to the outfield. He has also requested a trade if the Nationals do not intend to use him as their starting second baseman over Jose Vidro.

This issue has been hanging over the heads of the Nationals organization since Soriano was acquired in a trade from the Texas Rangers in December. However, as Soriano played with the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, Monday was the first day that he was scheduled to play for the Nationals during spring training.