According to Jon Heyman, Alfonso Soriano has officially cleared waivers. Not that there was ever any doubt. There's not a team out there that wants that salary.
But the timing is interesting.
Giants all-star LF Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for unnaturally high testosterone levels. He's out for the year and the Cubs just so happen to have a very productive LF they'd like to trade at the right price. Soriano was hitting .264/.319/.490 when the day started with 21 HRs and 71 RBI.
There were rumors shortly before the trade deadline that the Cubs had a trade offer from the Giants, but that Soriano vetoed the deal. According to an excellent source from Tom Loxas, we believe it never got that far, though it's likely that Soriano's name came up at some point.
The Giants may be much more motivated now even with the acquisition of Hunter Pence, who has hit just .186 since arriving. The Giants are currently tied for 1st in the AL West and trail the Pirates by 1/2 game for the second wild card spot.
Heyman indicated that the Cubs were willing to pay Soriano's salary down to $3M/yr. There were also rumors that Tampa might be interested if the Cubs pay 90% of the salary.
Of course, Soriano has to approve any deal because of his no trade clause.
In other news, Carlos Marmol also cleared waivers in what was also a formality. The market for Marmol should be a bit bigger as teams are always looking to upgrade their bullpen. Marmol is no longer dominant, but has had a 3.60 ERA since June 1st, has not blown a save since April 24th (13 SVs), and has allowed just a .292 wOBA in high leverage situations. It's also encouraging that Marmol's average velocity is up about 2 mph (93-94), which was more in line with his more successful seasons.
A source I spoke with felt that there was a much better chance to trade Marmol than Soriano.
The deadline for teams to acquire players and still put them on their playoff rosters is August 31st.