7/23 Soriano update
Theo Epstein planned to meet with Alfonso Soriano who was caught off guard by reports that the Cubs and Yankees were close to completing a deal which would send the 37-year-old outfielder back to the team he broke in with.
“I saw the news and got surprised,” Soriano said. “My agent told me the Yankees just called but it’s nothing serious and it’s nothing close. When I saw it on TV, I got a little surprised. I didn’t know it was coming — they put a lot of pressure on me, because a lot of friends called me and family when they saw the rumor on TV. my agent and me, we have the control. We talked, and I think if something happens, I want to be the first one to know.”
Epstein and Jed Hoyer were in Arizona on Tuesday and planned on meeting with Soriano to discuss his options. The Yankees aren’t the only team that has inquired about Soriano, Epstein said.
“They’re not the first team to call,” Epstein said. “They’re the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away.”
Soriano has a no-trade clause. Would he consider playing for the Yankees again?
“I just focus, play baseball, play the game today,” he said. “If it happens, if I’m getting closer, I’ll think about it. Now, there’s nothing there. If the president and the GM don’t call my agent, it’s because nothing happened, nothing’s close. If it gets close, I want time to think about it. Now, there’s nothing to think about.”
It would be a homecoming for Soriano, who broke into the U.S. Major Leagues with the Yankees in 1999.
“That’s my first organization, and I enjoyed my time with the Yankees,” he said. “They have a very good team. They are the Yankees. They always make the playoffs, no matter what team they have, no matter what pitching they’ve got. They always find a way. It’s one of the best organizations in baseball.”
— Carrie Muskat