7/24 Soriano preps for possible trade
Theo Epstein says they’ve asked Alfonso Soriano to take a few days to consider whether he would waive his no trade clause, and the veteran outfielder says he would possibly go back to the Yankees, who he broke into the big leagues with in 1999.
“He’ll let us know where he’ll go, if anywhere,” Epstein said Wednesday. “At that point, it’s up to us if we want to move forward and finalize a deal.”
Soriano met with Epstein and manager Dale Sveum after Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks to discuss the trade rumors swirling around the outfielder. Soriano said he presented them with a list of teams he would be willing to join.
“The Yankees are on the list,” Soriano said Wednesday.
Soriano, 37, has been the subject of trade rumors as recently as last year when the Giants were reportedly interested.
“It’s not 100 percent yet,” Soriano said about a trade, “but I’m open, and if some team calls, and it’s a contender, I think I’ll be in a better position. If not, I’ll be happy either way.”
“I think it’s the closest it’s ever been,” Soriano said of the rumors.
The Cubs inked Soriano to an eight-year, $136-million contract before the 2007 season. The deal runs through the end of next year, when he is scheduled to earn $18 million. The Cubs likely will have to cover part of Soriano’s remaining
salary in any trade.
In a perfect world, Soriano said he would rather stay in Chicago and help the Cubs win a World Series.
“I said in Spring Training, I’d like to finish my contract here,” he said. “But at the same time, I want another chance to get in the playoffs, to get in the World Series. I’d be more than happy if we start playing better and I’ve got a chance to win here. But I’m 37, so I want to have one more chance to go to the World Series. If they don’t have that in their minds, if they’re preparing the team for 2015, 2016, it’s too late for me. At the same time, I try to be a champion here. If not, I have to try to do that somewhere.”
Soriano talked to his family after Tuesday’s meeting.
“My wife told me, any decision I make, she supports me,” Soriano said.
It will be a difficult decision, Soriano said.
“It is, because I’ve been almost seven years here with the same team and feel comfortable here, I have my place in Chicago, I know the city,” he said. “This is baseball. Sometimes you feel comfortable but that’s my job. Sometimes you feel comfortable here and sometimes you have to move somewhere and try something different.”
Soriano was not in the Cubs’ lineup Wednesday against Ian Kennedy, even though he’s a .462 hitter against the Diamondbacks’ right-hander. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he’d already planned this game as an off day for the veteran.
“We’ve seen what happens with his legs, and even his game when he gets those breaks,” Sveum said of Soriano. “It happened obviously with the timing of all this going on. I think it’s a good time to let him reflect and sit back and think about what’s going on.”
— Carrie Muskat