Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

11/10 Rowson returns to Yankees

James Rowson, who took over as the Cubs’ hitting coach in June 2012, has returned to the Yankees to be the Minor League hitting coordinator. Rowson was in the Yankees organization for six seasons, including four as the Minor League hitting coordinator from 2008-11. He left the Yankees to take over as the Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator, and was named interim Major League hitting coach in June 2012, replacing Rudy Jaramillo. Rowson, 37, got the Cubs job full time in 2013.

He’s the second member of Dale Sveum’s 2013 Cubs staff to find a job with another team, joining Dave McKay, who has joined the Diamondbacks as a first base coach. Sveum joined Royals manager Ned Yost’s staff as a coach just a few days after he was dismissed by the Cubs.

The Chicago Tribune first reported Rowson’s return to New York on Saturday, and he confirmed it to on Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat

10/4 Girardi update

According to, the Yankees have made Joe Girardi a new contract offer and are waiting for his decision. Girardi’s current three-year, $9 million contract runs through the end of October. A source told that Girardi may take the weekend to decide whether he’ll accept the offer. If Girardi says no to the Yankees, and the Cubs want to speak to him, they most likely would have to wait until Nov. 1. Theo Epstein has said he wants to have the new manager in place by the GM meetings, which are Nov. 11-13 in Orlando.

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

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

7/23 Soriano to Yankees? – UPDATED

The Cubs have made five trades this month, including Monday’s deal which sent Matt Garza to the Rangers. Could Alfonso Soriano be next? The Yankees, meanwhile, have been shut out eight times this season. Might they be serious about turning to a blast from the past to add some punch to their lineup?

The New York Post’s George King reported on Tuesday that the Yankees were “close” to acquiring Soriano from the Cubs. According to the Post, the Cubs would pay the bulk of the money remaining on Soriano’s contract. The 37-year-old outfielder is making $18 million this year, and owed $18 million in 2014. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the key in the negotiations will be the amount of money the Cubs include in the deal. Both reports pointed out that the Yankees want to stay under the $189 million luxury-tax threshhold next season.

Speaking on MLB Network Radio Tuesday, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer called the reports about Soriano “very premature.”

“We’ve had some discussions with different teams about ‘Sori,’ and there’s nothing close at all,” Hoyer said. “It’s not nearly as advanced as reports have made it seem.”

Hoyer was headed to Arizona, and was expected to meet with Soriano, who was the subject of trade rumors last year.

“Last year, we took things to him on an individual basis when teams asked about him,” Hoyer said. “He’s got 10-5 [rights], he has the right, and has earned the right to veto deals. We’re not going to push him in any direction. we’ll certainly give him some of the teams that have inquired about him.”

The Cubs, who picked up four prospects in the Garza deal, will be looking for a top prospect. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports the Cubs scouted Triple-A right-hander Chase Whitley over the weekend. Whitley, 24, has a 3.52 ERA over 38 1/3 innings.

Soriano, who began his Major League career with the Yankees in 1999, does have a no trade clause. His name has been mentioned often in trade rumors.

“I don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to talk or hear my name at the Trade Deadline,” Soriano said on Monday. “It’s part of the game, but I’m not going to pay attention and just play my game and work hard.”

Soriano was batting .256 for the season, but has hit 10 home runs in his last 20 games, and was hitting .296 in that stretch with six doubles and 21 RBIs. He leads the Cubs with 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases, and ranks 57th on the all-time home run list with 389. Next up is the Yankees’ Graig Nettles at 390.

A move to an American League team would be a plus for Soriano, who has improved defensively. He has a career .379 average in 26 games as a designated hitter. He went 8-for-17 with two home runs in four games as the DH in Interleague play this season.

— Carrie Muskat

12/4 Third base options

The Cubs have talked to Ian Stewart as well as his agent Larry Reynolds to make sure the third baseman knows that they’d like to have him return to the team. Stewart was non-tendered last Friday, and now is a free agent. He missed most of last season after needing surgery on his left wrist. Because the market for third basemen is so weak, Stewart is now a hot item. The Yankees are in the mix following the news that Alex Rodriguez will need hip surgery. Think players aren’t aware of the market? Free agent Casey McGehee was in the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on Tuesday to talk to teams.

“[The Yankees] have a need,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “The question is how long they have a need for.”

Because Rodriguez was expected back at some point in the season, the Yankees may not want to commit long-term to a player. That will determine how aggressive they are. The Yankees reportedly have interest in free agent Jeff Keppinger, and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the infielder is looking for around $12 million over three years. Keppinger is recovering from a significant injury of his own, a broken fibula.

Stewart is aware of the Cubs’ interest in him.

“We’ve been really clear with him,” Hoyer said. “He knows how we feel about him. He knows we want to bring him back.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/3 Looking for Mike Schmidt

It’s good to be a free agent third baseman right now. The Yankees joined the crowded market Monday with the news that Alex Rodriguez needed hip surgery. The Cubs also are in line, and Theo Epstein says they may “have to be creative” to fill the spot.

“[We might have to] rely on players who haven’t held down that position over 150 games in a the big leagues or rely on a platoon or rely on someone who is more of a middle of the field player who can provide plus defense over at third,” Epstein said Monday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. “There are not a lot of obvious fits of every day third basemen in trade or free agents available right now. When that happens, you don’t throw in the white towel but try to be creative to piece it together.”

The Cubs are still talking to Ian Stewart, who was non-tendered on Friday. Now a free agent, Stewart is considering his options. Stewart batted .201 in 55 games last season, and missed most of the year because of left wrist surgery. Luis Valbuena filled in, and is another option for the Cubs for 2013, possessing all the right attributes, Epstein said. Valbuena batted .219, but was faring better in the Venezuelan Winter League, batting .325. The Cubs also could consider a platoon at third base, which is something Epstein favors. Having two players who can start at third helps the team’s bench, plus gives the manager more versatility. The Cubs also are considering other infielders who might not have been full-time third basemen because the free agent market is a little thin there.

“It’d be good to be Mike Schmidt right about now,” Epstein said.

They could use the Hall of Famer. Cubs third basemen combined to bat .201 last season, worst in the National League.

— Carrie Muskat

1/4 Garza rumors continue

The Cubs are listening to offers for Matt Garza but no team has presented a package of elite prospects that matches what Theo & Co. want in return. On Wednesday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Major League sources are saying the Cubs will part with Garza if another team is willing to deal three prospects from a team’s “A” list. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays were known to be interested in Garza. The Cubs have entertained offers for the right-hander.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News that he did not offer pitching prospect Jacob Turner for Matt Garza. The Tigers did actively pursue Gio Gonzalez but Dombrowski said there are no ongoing trade talks for starting pitching. Says Dombrowski: “There’s been a lot of things written in recent weeks that have been totally incorrect.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/3 Garza & the Yankees

The Cubs are not going to deal Matt Garza unless they get significant players in return, and the asking price apparently is too high for the Yankees. ESPNNew York’s Wallace Matthews reported Tuesday the Cubs’ asking price is “out of the question” for the Yankees. The Cubs reportedly want at least two and possibly three of the Yankees’ top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Blue Jays also have been linked to Garza, but the Blue Jays also have reportedly balked at the Cubs’ requests.

— Carrie Muskat

1/1 New year, more rumors

It’s a new year, which means more rumors regarding the Cubs and teams interested in acquiring Matt Garza. The Tigers are apparently the latest to show interest in the right-hander, and are willing to deal Jacob Turner, according to’s Buster Olney. Turner, 20, made 17 starts at Double-A Erie last season, posting a 3.48 ERA with 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.5 walks per nine innings. The Cubs are listening to a number of teams but Olney says no deal is imminent. The Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays also have reportedly been in touch with the Cubs about Garza, but Theo & Co would have to be overwhelmed with a package of top prospects to part with the right-hander.

The Marlins failed in their bid to acquire Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics and reportedly wanted Class A outfielder Christian Yelich in return. Among the other players teams are looking at in the Marlins’ system include third baseman Matt Dominguez, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Coghlan and Jose Ceda. Dominguez, a first-round pick in 2007, batted .258 in 87 games with Triple-A New Orleans with 12 homers and 18 doubles. Sanchez, a right-handed hitting first baseman, batted .266 with 19 homers, 25 doubles, 78 RBIs and a .779 OPS in 159 games with the Marlins last season. Coghlan, an outfielder, was a first-round pick in 2006. The Cubs know Ceda, who was in their system and traded to Florida in November 2008 for Kevin Gregg. Ceda appeared in 17 games last season with the Marlins.

— Carrie Muskat