Yesterday morning we knew Alfonso Soriano had something to ponder.
As the day went on and the reports came in it became clear that Sorinao didn’t really want to leave Chicago, but if he did he would welcome going back to a home of sorts in New York.
“I’d like to finish my contract here but at the same time I want another chance to be in the playoffs and the World Series,” he said. “I’d be more than happy if we started playing better and start winning here. But if not, I’m 37 so I want to have one more chance to go to the World Series.
“If they don’t have that in mind and they prepare the team for 2015 or 2016, then it’s too late for me. I try to be a champion here, but if not I’ve got to try to do that with another team.”
He also acknowledged the comfort level the Yankees would offer, including the presence of Derek Jeter, “my best friend when I played for the Yankees,” and good friend Mariano Rivera.
“I cannot feel better with [another team than] the Yankees,” he said. “I’m part of the family before with the Yankees.”
Yesterday I had heard the deal was close on the respective clubs' ends. The only hang up was likely how much (contract) the Yankees were willing to take on. There was even mention of the (financial consideration) Vernon Wells loophole, but it was likely not a factor.
I was told by another source that Soriano has no intention of blocking this deal. He did however ask Theo Epstein on Tuesday night for 2-3 days to ponder. That likely means there should be some sort of resolution by tomorrow. Gordon Wittenmyer had reported that Thursday would be the very earliest. There was also talk the Cubs would want to give Soriano a Kevin Youkilis grandiose type send off. However, with the Cubs being on the road any gesture would be limited.
The Cubs seem anxious to move on here. It’s nothing against “Sori” who has been a great teammate and steady influence on the younger players of late. It’s just time to completely turn the page and give a player like Junior Lake a chance to show what he can do. Ironically, the player that Soriano sees a lot of himself in has a chance to push him out the door.
“He’s a young guy with talent,” he said. “I see Junior like me in 2006. I was an infielder who moved to the outfield for the first time. I hope he can have the same career or better because he’s young and athletic and a nice person too.”
At the crux of this thing, you have a veteran player that wants to stay in Chicago. Sorinao sees the writing on the wall, he just wants his space to make a decision that seems increasingly obvious. I have no problem with it. It’s completely different than the Ryan Dempster fiasco on many levels (I still haven’t gotten over that).
Soriano taking his time hurts no one in this case, so we wait.
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