UPDATE 9:55: Per Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the player the Cubs are receiving is indeed Corey Black.
Corey Black is prospect going for Soriano. #Cubs see as power rlvr in future, up to 97 mph, good curve.
My description of Black is below and from what Sherman says, it appears there has been significant improvement in the consistency with his curve.
A power reliever makes sense given Black's size but it's possible he continues to start until he gets closer the majors.
It's a nice pickup. It never hurts to stock up on power arms, but the reality, as I've said in the past, is that this deal is ultimately about both sides moving on. The Cubs have to move on with the process of rebuilding and fielding the type of team they want. Soriano was the stamp of the old regime and the Cubs new FO is in the process of creating a new identity. Difficult as it was from a human standpoint, it had to be done from a baseball standpoint.
From earlier today...
It's official. Sort of. In what manager Dale Sveum described as, "emotional for all of us", Soriano has said goodbye to his teammates and the media and has taken a red eye flight to New York, according to multiple reports.
No word yet on the return but the buzz has been that the Cubs will receive RHP Corey Black in return. He's not a big time prospect but he has an intriguing arm and worth a gamble. Here is what I said about him earlier...
Of all the names mentioned, he's the one that intrigues me the most. He's undersized, but has similar athleticism and build as Travis Wood. He can also bring it, able to pitch last year at 95-98 with sinking movement. Some reports have him touching 100 mph in the instructional league. His changeup is solid and his secondaries lag behind, though the slider is further along than the curve. He has struck out 9.58 batters per 9 innings and although he has walked 4.90 per 9 IP, he does have the kind of athleticism to repeat his delivery and develop better command.
According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs will pay more than half of Soriano's remaining salary, though he did not know the exact amount.
UPDATE 8:30 AM: Jim Bowden says the Cubs will pay 17.7m of the $24.5m still owed to Soriano. He did say MLB has approved it but that hasn't been confirmed by another source, so we'll hold off on that.
It's a bittersweet moment for the fans, media and teammates who have grown to appreciate Soriano's work ethic, leadership, clubhouse presence, and willingness to be accountable.
As Julio Borbon put it,
Alfonso Soriano: one of the best teammates I've ever had, class act and leader, learned a lot from him in our short time playing together.
Manager Dale Sveum was even more effusive in his praise, per Patrick Mooney
Sveum called Soriano one of the top five people he’s been around in the game and compared his work ethic/approach/energy to Robin Yount's.
Considering his close friendship with Yount, that's saying a lot about how Sveum feels about Soriano. There could be perhaps no better compliment from him.
As for Soriano himself,
“I’m happy, and I think they (the Cubs) are happy, too. I’m happy to go back to New York where I started my career. I think both sides are happy.
I just talked to my family and they said they support me and they’re happy I’m back where I started my career,” Soriano said. “I’m happy to go back to New York. … It’s a little uncomfortable, but this is baseball. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the team, best for me and best for the other organization, too. I’ve been traded before. Now I have to keep moving and do my job in New York.”
Soriano said the thing he'll remember most are the fans and how much they wanted the team to win. Soriano very badly wanted to help bring that title to Chicago, but it was not meant to be.
And his parting words are ones we should all remember,
"Money can make you happy... but the most important thing is to be a human being. "
I, for one, wish Soriano all the luck in the world and this is one of the few times some of us will utter the following words: Go Yankees. Get Soriano that ring.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap