Update: 4:55: Alfonso Soriano is not in the starting lineup. The Cubs are calling it a scheduled day off. Take that for what it's worth.
UPDATE 4:40: In non-Soriano news, at least not directly, David DeJesus has been activated and Dave Sappelt has been returned to AAA Iowa. This means Junior Lake is going to stay for now -- and I can't imagine he's going to stay to sit on the bench.
UPDATE 3:01: We're hearing this has a better than average chance of going down by tonight. One estimate we heard was 75% that Soriano doesn't play in the game.
Julie DiCaro of ChicagoNow and Aerysports.com is also hearing a trade is close. DiCaro says,
I was told this morning by a reliable source that the Cubs are waiting for the word to take down Alfonso Soriano’s photo (which is apparently bolted to the wall) in the press room at Wrigley.
There have been some varying reports on the possibility of the Cubs sending Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees.
What I have heard this morning is that he is indeed contemplating a deal, and at the time it stood at 50/50. The information was presented in a way that suggested there is a deal to contemplate. There could be some negotiation still left between the clubs, (money) however it was close enough apparently for them to seek Soriano’s approval.
Soriano had rejected some other team’s overtures in the past. What we know is Theo Epstein among others met with him last night in Arizona to discuss the possibilities. I have heard in the past from Soriano’s camp that the Yankees would be a move they would accept.
Other information says other teams could still be involved; however I feel it will come down to the Yankees and Soriano.
We hear the Cubs have handled Soriano with the utmost respect. I think it’s safe to say Soriano deserves it at this point. Say what you want about the albatross that became his contract. Everything you hear says he was a class act in the clubhouse under this regime.
I think if Soriano does indeed get moved, his legacy with the Cubs will ultimately be looked at under a different, more positive light. Where once he was known to some for underperforming his contract, it gradually came to light that he is a player with a very strong work ethic as well as an esteemed veteran who is looked upon highly by his teammates. The Cubs will miss his leadership off the field and his power production on it.
As for the return, the rumors last night included that the Cubs have scouted relief pitchers Chase Whitley (h/t Joel Sherman, NY Post), Joel De La Cruz (h/t Chris Cotillo, MLB Daily Dish), and 2b/3B David Adams.
As John mentioned yesterday, none of the players are considered potential impact prospects, which seems to indicate the Cubs are simply looking to move forward here. This is more about clearing the decks so that they can add more long term players and field the type of team this front office envisions as the Cubs transition from an also-ran to a contender.
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