7/26 Theo says timing was right
Theo Epstein said Alfonso Soriano helped make the trade go smoothly.
“As far as these things go, this was relatively seamless to where we were able to monitor the market, give him an idea of what teams might be interested,” Epstein said. “When we explained why we thought it was the right time, and why it would be good for him, and good for the Cubs, he listened and took it to his family and made a decision that I think in the end was the right one.”
The Cubs dealt Soriano to the Yankees on Friday for Class A right-hander Corey Black.
Now, the Cubs do not have a player with a no-trade clause in their contract.
“I don’t look at this as a watershed moment, or a transformative moment at all,” Epstein said. “It was simply the right time for Sori to move on and open up some at-bats for Junior Lake and when [Ryan] Sweeney and [Brian] Bogusevic come back from injury, now that [David] DeJesus is back from injury, we have a chance to find out about left-handed bats and some on-base skills and see who might be in the mix for next year. It was just the right time for this particular move.”
Soriano’s eight-year, $136 million contract was the largest ever given to a Cubs player. Could they do another one? It depends on the player
“I’m of the belief that you’re never one player away,” Epstein said. “The single biggest factor in whether or not you have a chance to legitimately contend is the overall health of the organization.”
“We’re focused on building a healthy, productive, effective organization with a robust farm system, getting those players through the farm system to the big league level and gaining competitiveness that way rather than chasing one player who might make a difference.”
That doesn’t mean the Cubs won’t acquire impact players through free agency; they just won’t build their plans around that.
“We’ll know when the timing is right,” Epstein said.
— Carrie Muskat