Cubs respectfully await Soriano decision

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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  • Just a heads up, but I think you mean to say,"Cubs wait respectfully on Soriano decision" in your title.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Damn it!!!! I fixed that and it didn't save. Thank you.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Or you could have correctly said "Cubs await respectfully Soriano decision".

    Or "Cubs wait respectfully for Soriano decision".

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I knew what you meant

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    In reply to Hubbs16:

    time to boldly go back to the English grammar books?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I actually get somewhat picky over such errors. Sometimes to the point that I feel like I may be picking fly dung out of pepper. I think these guys work hard at providing good info and I can forgive a boo boo or to....uh too....err two

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    It's sometimes just a rush thing and then spellcheck will incorrectly correct things as well.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Oh yeah.....some of those corrections can be doozies, too!

  • I'm guessing not, but do you think the waiting game here could have any affect on other deals? I.e. are they waiting to move Soriano before they move Gregg, etc.?

  • It was not his fault that he signed a contract 2 years to long.
    I wish him the best.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    That was Crane Kenney and John McDonough. They wanted their marquee player at all costs despite baseball people knowing it was going to be too long.

  • Also, saw this yesterday:

    Let's say the Cubs do move Soriano. Then we can say "Ladies and gentlemen, your longest tenured Cub... Jeff Samardzija! In spot #2, James Russell!"

    Assuming the info above is correct (I haven't double-checked), I guess Theo and crew really didn't like the Hendry foundation...

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Amazing since Russell was a rookie in 2010!

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Funny, I was just looking into the tenure idea this morning. Here's your top five based on MLB Debut.
    1. Samadzija - 7/25/08 (current age:28)
    2. Russell - 4/5/10 (27)
    3. Castro - 5/7/10 (23)
    4. Castillo - 8/11/10 (26)
    5. Barney - 8/12/10 (27)

  • That is pretty amazing....Russell a grizzled veteran..LOL!

  • Kind of ambivalent on this deal since unlike the Dempster debacle, its not like the Cubs are losing anything if he decides to stay.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I think the only thing they're losing is an opportunity to play the younger players, which is getting to be a big deal for them at this stage. Really like Soriano and I wish he could have had a championship here. He's such a good guy and he's a loyal teammate. Assuming he's traded, I'd be ecstatic if they can someday bring him back to Chicago in some capacity.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well said John.

    I'm curious if they've talked about giving Jr's cannon a look in RF? I still maintain that if we don't get surplus value, we keep him (unless we are doing Sori a favor and honoring his wish to go play for a WS contender). I'd be okay with that out of respect for Sori. But even with Jr's emergence, he's really not blocking anybody. Unless theres hope that Gillespie or Vitters are projecting as everday OF'rs... You'd think the way we have struggled vs LHP, they'd want Sori's & Jr's bats in the same line-up for 2014 if we intend to be competitive.

    Our OF in 2014 could look interesting choosing from

    Lake (R)
    DDJ (L)
    Nate S (L)
    Sweeney (L)
    Bogusevic (L)
    Bourbon (L)
    Gillespie (R)
    Jackson (L)
    Vitters (R)
    Sappelt (R)

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Interesting list, lt looks like Lake is the only righty. Wonder if some of the lefty surplus is going to be gone by the deadline. Stanton sure would look good, but I have a feeling the cost would be prohibitive.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, if he comes back as an OF coach, I swear I will claw my eyes out and quit. If I ever see that hop again, it will be too soon.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    He gave up the hop years ago:

    That being said, I think he comes back as more of an ambassador in spring training to work with their young players. Maybe even overseas in the offseason at their Dominican facility.

  • Funny how the perception of Soriano has changed over the past few seasons. When he came to the Cubs he had sky-high expectations, based mostly upon a big contract. I wonder if fans would have reacted differently in the beginning if he hadn't been misused as a lead off hitter. To me, he was clearly a guy that needed to hit in the middle of the lineup in order to take full advantage of his power. Interesting that since the switch was made a few years ago, that people have slowly turned to his corner.

    Sori has earned the right to take time and consider this deal. I, for one, will miss him when he is gone. Outside of perhaps Sosa, I've not seen a player recently that is capable of completely carrying an offense for stretches. He also reinvented his defensive game in his later years. He hasn't been as solid this year as last, but I would imagine that it would have to make quite an impression on young players to see a 37 year-old veteran with nearly 400 homers putting in the time to continue to improve his game at a time In his career where he really should have nothing left to prove. He may be maddeningly inconsistent at times, but overall I've been happy to have him as a Cub.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Well said

  • Agree, I hope he does well with the Yankees. He should be fine
    being with some old friends.

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    As much as I can't stand the Yankees, I will be cheering for Fonzi to get a ring there (assuming that's where he goes).

  • In reply to Andrue Weber:

    Agreed, me too.

  • In reply to Andrue Weber:

    Me too! He's a good fit and could turn out to be just what the Yankees need.

  • i'm confused here. i've read that the Cubs FO personally met with Soriano to tell him about his trade options and of their desire to move on. i've read that Soriano has talked to his family and his wife who is supportive moving on. i'm reading Soriano himself saying he wouldn't mind rejoining his former team and his friends on the yankees. i'm reading Soriano then already gave the Cubs a list of teams he will approve a trade to - with the yankees being on that list.

    What is the hold up? Why am i reading that he still needs a few days?

    Also, if i'm the cubs, i dont allow Soriano to play until a deal goes through or until he rejects a trade. Soriano does get dinged up and you dont want an injury here screwing up an opportunity to get a prospect and moving on from Soriano.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Maybe the "problem" is our own impatience.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    The list that Soriano gave the cubs was a "Trade Pre-Approval List"; in other words, Sori gave the Cubs a list of teams that he "would" accept a trade to (the Yanks being one of them), provided he talks to the acquiring team beforehand and gets certain assurances regarding playing time. Soriano would like to go to a contending team (if he must) but only if he is going to play. He doesn't want to be a part time DH & bench player. He has stated that he would like to play the field more often than DH in the past as well, but perhaps the Yanks can talk him out of that if they promise that he will take Travis Haffner's spot as the every day DH, while also getting spot starts in LF.

  • Can't say. He wants some time it seems likely to happen. No problem so far.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Maybe the problem is the return we are getting?

  • Speaking of outfielders, what's the status on Brett Jackson?

  • this is obviously getting a little ahead of myself, but after soriano is traded, the cubs remaining trade chips are:

    C- Navarro
    1B/3B- Ransom
    2B- Barney
    2B/3B- Valbuena
    OF- Dejesus, Schierholtz
    P- Villanueva
    RP- Gregg, Russell

    id like to see them all go at the right price except for dejesus and russell.

    at this point i think valbuena or barney needs to go and since valbuena can play 2nd, 3rd and a little ss AND he bats lefthanded (let alone is a better hitter in general) i think barneys the guy. he'd fit in well in DET.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'd only trade Barney if he brings back good value. He's still young and cost-controlled, and there's nothing to say Sveum can't sit him now and then.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    i agree i dont want him moved just for the sake of him being moved, but with olt most likely taking over 3rd in september/2014, that moves valbuena to the bench, which is fine. however logan watkins will also likely be coming up in september/2013 and alcantara will probably be up in july of next year so one two of barney-valbuena-watkins-alcantara need to find different roles to play. alcantara, as of right now, is our second baseman of the future and valbuena would be great at 2nd holding down the fort until he's ready and then becoming a utility guy once he is. that leads me to believe that barney should be moved and watkins will get an audition and if hes just okay or worse he will be sent to AAA as depth/injury insurance or tried out at a new position.

  • Can't blame him for wanting a bit of time to reflex on decision even if he ultimately chooses to pursue his initial inclination. Hard on us as fans though given all the waiting for trades to be finalized over these past couple of years.

  • It's good to see Soriano finally getting some respect.

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    I'd like to see Soriano back with the Cubs as a 3B coach or Bench coach when he is finished playing. He has had such a positive impact for Castro and Lake (albeit brief). With other young players coming up he would be great to have around.

    Do we have an over/under date on when we think Olt will arrive at Wrigley? I would think shortly after Sori leaves. His bat may be needed in the 4 spot against lefties.

  • There are
    A lot of teams that could use Barney's glove at second. Wonder if we have enough left to get someone like Polanco to help fill out the outfield next year. Pittsburgh really hurting with an injury to their closer.

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    I do wonder if the Cubs have told him, honestly, that they're in a position where they have to get at-bats for guys like DDJ and Schierholtz (until the deadline) and Lake, Bogusevic, and Sweeney afterwards (to see what they can contribute going forward), and he may see reduced playing time if he stays. Not because of anger or disrespect, but just organizational needs.

  • Soriano could have a superstar if he would have just laid off pitches out of the strike zone. I dont know how many times he swung at pitches in the dirt. His OBP could have been close to .400. Any pitcher who throws him a strike should be fined. And he is the last player you want in the post season batting only .213. I see Castro doing some of the same things so I woudn't want Soriano teaching young players anything. Time to move on.

  • I saw the KC Cougars game in Beloit last night. Wow, do they ever have a cheap looking field -- looks like a glorified park district field for the community baseball leagues. There was even another field smack up against the right field wall where some guys were playing a slow pitch softball game while the Cougars-Snappers game was going on. On the other hand, they did have a nice printed roster for both teams that included a handy pronunciation guide for players on both teams with the more unusual names. According to them, Jeimer's name is pronounced, "JAY-murr" (no Spanish "J" as "H" involved).

    I'm a little puzzled by Baker's rehab assignment. Usually, a pitcher that is trying to come back from an injury spends all of his time throwing in Arizona, either in extended Spring Training or in the AZ Rookie league, up until he is nearly ready to rejoin the parent club. Then they will have him throw a game or two in the minor league system as a tune-up before re-activating him.

    I just don't recall anybody else having an extended rehab stay with one of the minor league teams like Baker is having. Does anybody else recall such a lengthy rehab program in the minors for any other pitchers?

  • I'm going to hate to see him go. I do have to say that I'm not totally on board with the fact that he's blocking young players right now or next year. Almora and Soler are more than likely 2015 guys. Certainly not Sappelt, BJax, Szczur. Those guys are bench guys. A 2014 OF of Lake, DeJesus, Schierholtz, Soriano with fill ins like Sweeney, Gillespie, or whomever they may pick up with some athleticism is fine with me. Makes me wonder if they'd rather have Jacoby Ellsbury in center for 2014-16. Plus, half if not all of the guys I've named will get hurt at some point anyway.

  • Going to be pulling hard for Sori wherever he is until he retires.

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