Soriano says his goodbyes as Cubs trade him to the Yankees

Soriano says his goodbyes as Cubs trade him to the Yankees

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.

 

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  • I'm afraid my family might disown me if I say those words. But now thye've got Granderson, Mo, Jeter, guys that are actually likeable.

    Conflict!

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Haha! It's all about getting Sori that ring for me. What a class act. Same goes for the guys you mentioned as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also go Texas and ATL (still not over Reed). Have definitely had mood swings as far as Sori is concerned, but at this point would love if they one day invited him back to spring training as some sort of coach/mentor/leader. That's one solid dude.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, the rumored Dominic Brown for Soriano trade that was floated this offseason , how close was that to ever getting done?

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Don't forget Girardi.

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    I can't say I will miss him, but I know he was a positive influence on the team. I will pull for the Yankees...well, maybe a little...who am I kidding? I hate the Yankees.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    I'm no fan either, but I'll swallow my pride and root for Sori to get that ring. One more Yankee title isn't going to kill me. I think.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I will pull for Texas. Soriano already won a ring, right?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, though it's a good thing he wasn't traded to the Cardinals. I can't ever root for them, even if my mom was the GM.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Haha! Now that would be pretty tough. I want Soriano to win, but not sure I can ever root for the Cards unless it benefits the Cubs somehow.

  • I always said soriano got a bad rap in chicago. I will miss him wearing a cubs uniform and hope he wins a ring, I never had a problem with the yankees so it should be easy for me to root for them.

  • Also, it'd be mighty nice if the Yankees got scheduled to come to town next year. Theoretically the renovations should be done, and it'd be nice for Cub fans to show some appreciation for Sori.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Ah, the renovations are scheduled to take place over 3 or 4 years.....

  • I think Brett Taylor for Bleacher Nation did a great job of summing it up: "Soriano with Cubs: 17.8 WAR through 2012. At $/WAR of $5.5M, that's $97.9M of value. He was paid $97M for those 6 seasons." Some people call Soriano's deal with the Cubs one of the worst in baseball history, but that just isn't true. He was below replacement level in 2009 and never got back to a 4 win player after that year, but he never failed to hit 20 HR's and was worth just shy of 18 WAR through 6 years (according to Fangraphs, Baseball Reference thought much less of him at 7 total WAR entering this year). I think it's important to remember the Cubs are a big market team that went for it. I loved the signing in 2006, and I will defend it in 2013, even if it didn't end up the way we dreamed it would.

  • In reply to OscarBluth5:

    He was also off on the money, as he is leaving out 2013 and his signing bonus. The Cubs have paid Soriano $111M (estimated $25M left on his contract) and will also pay at least half of that amount, so for argument sake they paid $125M for his production. 2 good years in 07 and 08. Three bad years 09-11 and 2 just over league average in 12 and 13. Baseball reference, as you say, had him at 7.7 WAR or just over $42M of value. Even using Fangraphs higher numbers he was still almost $30M over paid. Anyone trying to say his contract was of equal value is crazy.

  • In reply to The Cubs Way:

    I don't think anyone is saying he has been worth what we paid him because it's clear he hasn't, but it could have been worse. It is hard to live up to any contract that pay that much but he was no Jason Bay. Aside from 09 and '11 he was at least a decent starter, and not a drain on the team. The point is the Cubs gave him the contract for his 07 and 08 seasons and to do that they had to pay him for longer than that, its just how baseball contracts work. Very bad contract? Yes, but check out http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-anti-trade-value-the-five-worst-contracts/ right now and I think Sorianos doesnt compare to some of those.

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    In reply to Andrew:

    Which is why Theo Epstein is adamant in not paying for past production.,

  • In reply to OscarBluth5:

    I'll never critique Soriano for signing that contract,.... but I remember being baffled when the contract for a 30 year old 'speed' player (given - with lots of power) with iffy knees went for 8 years at that price-tag.

    I wasn't irritated so much with the money per year as the number of years. How many speed/power guys hold that kind of value by the time they are 37-38?

    That being said - he was awesome (although he should have been moved to the 4-5 slot in the batting order years before they did it) those first couple of years - and his only 'bad' years were years plagued by injuries. Many of his detractors would be singing a different tune if things had fallen a bit better for the team in those first couple of seasons with Soriano roaming LF?

  • In reply to OscarBluth5:

    We've talked about those figures a few times in the past, but I didn't want to make this about money again with Soriano. As he said yesterday, baseball gave him that money and all you can ask of him is that he play as hard as he can. Soriano did -- and that's why I'm okay with it. We can measure how close he came to earning it via his production on the field, but that's all water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, saw this online today. When you think about Soriano's production over the last ten years vs. A-Rod, it's easier to digest that contract in comparison. Plus Soriano said last night he turned down more money to play with the Cubs.

    A-Rod / Soriano
    All-Star app.: 7 / 5
    Home runs: 302 / 291
    RBI: 960 / 816
    Stolen bases: 141 / 159
    Hits: 1,366 / 1,418
    Batting avg.: .292 / .268

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    and A-Roid got like a $100 million more during that time

  • Rooting more for Texas than NY.

    Soriano does have two rings. I know they were a long time ago and he was a small of them but they're rings nonetheless. A lot of people forget he hit a go ahead HR in the 8th inning off Curt Schilling in Game 7 of the 2001 WS. He almost made it three titles.

    Love Soriano but just don't want to see those Yankee fans bragging. Rather Garza get it.

  • *small part. I hate this iPad -___-

  • I’m conflicted. Years ago when Soriano was with Texas, and subject to being traded; defensively I didn’t want a stone-handed 2B. Offensively, it appeared speed was a significant part of his game, and due to his age at the time was a bit of a concern to me. I didn’t want Hendry to overpay for him.

    Unfortunately, Hendry did overpay/extend his contract in free agency. When he was signed, once again I was skeptical, and far from thrilled with the length of the contract. Albeit happy that he had finally transitioned to the outfield with his time with the Nationals. It was clearly still in the early stages of learning the position change. It wasn’t pretty, but I hoped he would pick up the position with time, and his arm strength would negate some early fielding deficiencies.

    When Soriano first joined the Cubs, It seemed to me that Soriano had a bad rap/rep. I couldn’t see it personally, I’m not connected to anyone of significance within the Cubs organization, so I never knew if Soriano was good or bad in the clubhouse and/or with his teammates.

    Time took me further away from those early day concerns with Soriano’s defense, plus seemed to vindicate him of some of the negative image issues that seemed to be circulating.

    My buddy Roger has tickets down 3B in the 3B/leftfield corner, and I got to see Soriano’s play, up close. He took great strides in his defensive prowess, finally retiring the Soriano-hop, which was a liability.

    When injury to his legs came, the speed element suffered greatly, as he seemed to run tentatively for a number of years. Over time, he seemed to strengthen, or at least trust his legs, to push them a bit further.

    I will always appreciate his professionalism, and admire how crazy some of his hot streaks were. Just wish he got HR #400 while wearing Cubbie Blue.

    All the best to Soriano.

  • I DO NOT LIKE THIS TRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A mediocre prospect & some salary relief???. Having Soriano in the lineup & his clubhouse presence would have helped much more in the long term development of Castro, Rizzo and even Lake then the minimal return that this return yielded which is 99% financial. Lake was going to play no matter what. All this does is free up some at bats for DeJesus, a .250 or so hitter with no speed or power, BFD. Rizzo will be completely pitched around now. The only positive about this move is it will improve our draft position. Our lineup is a complete joke now.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I agree

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    If they use the money NY pays to bring in another player, it changes the scope of the trade entirely. Rizzo is mentally strong and will be just fin IMO.

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    In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Soriano didn't even show up until a month ago. If Schierholtz and Dejesus are starters in RF and CF, and Soriano stayed, where do you play Lake? At this stage of his development, he needs ABs...and as hot as he is, the pitchforks and torches would be at Clark & Addison if they tried to send him down. The only real solution was to trade or sit Soriano.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    That will be a problem - unless Castro continues to hit well and is put behind him as protection (Castro has improved quite a bit in the last couple of weeks), or unless Scheirholtz can stay healthy and hit behind him solidly, or they can collectively cobble together a combo/platoon to fill the 4 and 5 slots in the lineup - Rizzo's production will suffer.

    Lake is a better fit at the top of the order at the moment and putting a rookie into the cleanup spot with a total of a few dozen at bats is a really bad idea anyway.

    The offense is going to suffer in several ways without Soriano.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    DDJ gets on base and puts up the kind of ABs they like. He is a better fit for what they want to do going forward.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    DeJesus is a short term space filler and does not have a strong enough bat for a starting corner outfield position. To say he is a better fit then someone who can hit thirty home runs and drive in 100 runs is silly.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I dont agree with the trade but can see the point on the money saving but to say DeJesus is a better fit is selling Soriano short.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Soriano had one season with the Cubs where he hit 30 plus HRs and drove in more than 100 runs. His average season as a Cub, per 550 PAs? 27 HRs and 78 RBIs.

  • He spent his best years here as a leadoff hitter. Of course his average for RBIs were low.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Fine. Prior to coming to the Cubs, Soriano averaged 27 SBs per 550 PAs. As a Cub he averaged 10, with a high of 19 twice.

  • I agree and that's what the Cubs are thinking....long term. The Cubs have decided that the money they shed from trading Soriano will help them getting more players (i.e. international) .

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Money and roster space were definitely factors.

  • It was time...if they had found a way to trade him before the 2012 season when they took over, most fans would have been cheering. He was an amazing player during his hot streaks, and a great teammate. But when he was not in one of his hot streaks he was not even a replacement level LF, which was about 85% of the time.

    They found a way to open up playing time for Lake and were able to get as much money and players back in return with Soriano being able to veto any trade he didn't like. This is why NTC are a thing of the past.

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    Goodness, Baez with two more homeruns, now 4 in 3 games. What sucks is he is on a tear in Huntsville...just down the road from my house. If I wasn't deployed, I would be camped there. grrrr That makes 8 dingers in 70 AA ABs...ridiculous. He is killing LHP and needs to show more against RHP. I understand the thought process on development, but at his current development rate, could the Cubs keep him down past AS break next year?

  • I never, ever, ever thought I would say this,..... but I hope the Yankees win the World Series this year.

    *I just threw up in my mouth a little bit*

    And I hope Soriano carries them.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Haha ;) My sentiments exactly!

  • Don't mean to be a Debby Downer here... but help me get my head around this.

    So we just gave up our best offensive player, a high character team leader & mentor, plus $25M cash for an undersized guy that may be intriguing, but is getting hit pretty hard in the FSL (A Pitchers League) and has given up 54 runs (39 ER) in 82.2 innings in Tampa... How can we be happy about that?

    I realize this kid could turn into something, maybe - maybe not. But I don't see how we got any value for this trade. The big league club is now void of our best offensive player, our only veteran leader/mentor, AND we sent $25M cash all for a hard throwing erratic kid in A level, who isn't going to crack our top 20 prospect list anytime soon, if ever. I hope the early reports are wrong about the cash because if this was a salary dump - it's equitable.

    P.S. Now he needs to change his twitter name cuz @CBlackNYY aint gonna cut it for me....

    P.S.S. I wish Sori nothing but the best in baseball and life. But I'd rather chew glass shards than root for the Yankees...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    This is a good opportunity for Sori and for the Cubs to figure out their future outfield.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's simple. Soriano is not a part of the future of this team. The prospect, while potentially a long shot, could be a part of the future. An extra win or two the rest of this year is essentially meaningless.

    He was a good leader but Shark and Rizzo seem to have taken on that role so I am not concerned about that.

    Also, we owe him $25 million for the rest of his deal and we certainly aren't paying all of it. Any money saved can also be put to positive use going forward.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I agree that he wasn't part of the future. But whatever happened to "We won't move him unless we get value" in return. Like I said the $$$ is the key. If we're paying for him, then we didn't get value.

    Anyone know if NYY has any Intl pool $$$ left? That would help.

    You are correct in that 1-2 wins the rest of the season are meaningless.

    Like I said, if it was out of good will for Sori, I'm okay with it.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't think this deal was ever about the return, something I've been writing for sometime now. It's been about moving forward with the process. Soriano brought a lot of great things to the team, but they need to move on with building the type of team they want on the field. Soriano didn't fit that as far as his approach or his long term value. It's that simple. It was time to move on. In the process maybe the Cubs get another nice arm and save a little money, but those things are secondary.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly, John! Moving Soriano was never about the return.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hear what you're saying, but what happened to "he has value to us and we're not just going to give him away?" Bottom line, if we sent almost $18M to NYY for this kid straight up, would you be happy about that?

    All I'm saying is we are way upside down on this. Since he wasn't blocking anyone, and we have to pay that much $$, why not let him hit those milestones (2K hits, 400 HR's) at Wrigley? We could have sent him packing at the deadline next year for a high risk high reward A level prospect next year. We should have to pay that much $$ for nothing....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Correction, not nothing. rather a very high risk gamble.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That was a stance they took and they tried to hold on to it as long as they could - but the reality (and this is from those I have talked to around the league) is that he just doesn't have much value to anyone else.

    At some point the Cubs had to decide whether holding out for a B level prospect was worth slowing down the process of re-making the team. It wasn't.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Okay, I can accept that they had to change there expectations to meet market pricing.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well put.

  • I continue to bite my tongue until this deal is official.

  • Good luck to him. Never heard anyone who actually knows him say a bad word about him. Never once.

    Hope he gets a ring before he's don playing.

  • My first love of a team, before the Cubs, was the Yankees. That was the Mantle, Berra, Skowron, Ford, Larson era. Once Steinbrenner started in, I hated them. But now, with Sori going to the Yankees and Girardi and Jeter - I will root for them to at least get in the WS. I don't think I could ever root for the American League in the series unless vs. the Cardinals or Mets, however.

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    I wish Soriano the best, but I'm glad he's gone. It was time to move on. Some of the kudos he is getting I think are deserved. Some I think are not. He seemed like a genuinely good guy, and he always hustled, even if I think he could've done more to improve his game. I don't think there are many who played the game harder, but I look at all that athleticism, and I can't help but think about what might have been had he been more selective at the plate and had he seen the need to improve his defense sooner. I don't like this it was such a huge deal to get him out of the leadoff role, when it was apparent he wasn't suited for it, or that it was such a huge deal to get him to use a lighter bat as he got older.

    I like the guy, unlike how I feel about Sammy Sosa, but I'm glad his hacktastic ways are gone. Junior Lake doesn't need that example, and neither do any of the other Cubs prospects who will be joining the team between now and the end of 2014.

    I'm glad we don't have to go through the circus which would've been Wrigley Field had he refused to be traded. The fans and the press would've turned on him. It would've been awful, and I'm glad we might actually end up getting a useful piece in return for him. For those of you commenting above that the Cubs aren't getting enough back, y'all should have your heads examined. Any return for an overpaid/overaged has been is better than nothing.

    So long Sori, and best of luck! I hope either you or Garza gets that ring.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Not if we are paying for his salary. If we have to pay, may as well play him since he isn't blocking anyone. We've got no one on the roster capable of replacing his offensive production this year. (Unless you think JR Lake will maintain this pace - in which YOU would need your head examined).

    While the wins won't matter this year, they may next year. Why pay him to hit 25 HR's for the NYY's next year? If the NYY's are paying the salary, then a high ceiling kid who may never make it out of the FSL is worth it. Otherwise we just paid a ton of cash for nothing.

    I'm hoping the Yanks pay and we use the savings to sign the Cuban RHP Gonzalez now that the Dodgers are supposedly out of it, his production has a chance to match his contract).

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'll tell you why you trade him. You trade him because everything you just said about him is true, and his production will cost us draft position by winning us meaningless ball games. What good does that do us in the long run? All it does is make you feel better short term.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Well that reasoning is the same as rooting for us to lose solely for draft position. I will never root for a Cubs loss.

    For the record, I was never opposed to trading Sori, in fact I was in favor. But only if we got "Value" for him. Paying $18M for him to hit 25+ HR's elsewhere with only a longshot fringe prospect was just giving him away for the sake of getting rid of him. I see no need to give him away.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You trade him to give ABs to younger guys. You trade him because saving $7m is better than eating $25m. You trade him because you get a cost-controlled long term asset with mid-rotation or closer projectability. You trade him because you'd rather pay $7m to lose 2-3 more games than pay $25m for those wins in a season and a half where those wins are absolutely meaningless. You trade him because it is the right thing to do for Alfonso Soriano and sometimes it is not a bad thing to treat a player like a human being.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Very well said Michael.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Hoosier, look at the juggernaut Theo and Jed are building. 2014 might be the last time in a long time that the Cubs get a chance to draft that high. Just saying!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Soriano had great success for many years with his approach at the plate and it earned him a huge contract for a team that never asked him to change it. So, why would he? Should we have expected Soriano to become a sabermetician and say, "Oh, well, maybe I should re-invent myself as a hitter"? I think he would have done so if asked earlier in his career -- just as he improved on his defense when he actually had someone out there to show him how to do it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, you already know that I hated that he was ever given that contract, but if I'd been him, I wouldn't have turned it down and nor would I have changed. Like you said, no reason to change.

    Yes, he had success using that approach for a while, but there's a difference between being successful and being one of the greatest ever, and he could've been one of the few from the steroid era to make the HOF.

    I believe him when he says he never did steroids in a way I don't believe others. I see him, and I get sad because I see what could've been had he been a little more adaptable in the way he approached the game.

    He was certainly in the right environment in New York to be all that he could be, but even there, he wouldn't/couldn't change, and so when the chance to acquire A-Rod, who's steroid abuse has little to do with his approach at the plate, came along, there wasn't any question about doing it. They never thought twice, because Soriano never gave them reason to do so. They might have traded him anyways, just because they're NY and they have to make the biggest splash, but in 2003, Soriano's final season with the Yankees, his slash line was .290/.338/.525 in 734 PA with 27 NSB. That same season, A-Rod had a slash line of .298/.396/.600 in 715 PA with 14 NSB.

    They were both 27 at the time. In a sane world where baseball decisions are made based on empirical evidence, I probably don't make that trade if Soriano's OBP is just .025 higher. He certainly would've had even more NSB, and the SLG would likely have been higher too due to the better pitch selection. Extrapolate that out over his entire career, and there is no doubt he'd be Cooperstown bound. He had all the tools to be that good.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Nice points, Michael.

  • Even Bob Brenly spoke highly of Sori on the pregame last night. The love is flowing for the New Yankee.

    It will be interesting to see how the team reacts. Clearly, Sori was loved and respected by his teammates and will leave a void for sure. How do the guys, especially the young ones, react?

    Might be interesting to watch.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Brenly has come a long way on Soriano. Good to see. I think there is a void there but sometimes that's the time where you step up. I think we'll see some players grow up quickly.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Brenly had a point on his defense; you rarely see anyone improve defensively in his 30s like Soriano did. Defensive metrics say he is above-average in LF now, and he also passes eye test. Amazing turnaround......

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Dave McKay had a lot to do with it.

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    When can we expect to officially find out who is coming back our way?

  • In reply to Theo Einstein:

    Probably waiting for league to officially approve deal, which involves a large exchange of money.

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    If the money is true, no reason it isn't, we've saved a bunch of money this year in trading. $8M here, plus $1M in the Marmol deal, and another $4Mor so trading Garza. That's $13M. That might be what is paying for our spending splurge in International FA, because we're spending money in bonus and penalties for sure (and we are also paying a tax on what we spent in the draft)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    We have the $$.... it might be what would pay for Cuban RHP Gonzalez though. He's rumored to be looking for 5yrs and $60M.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Hearing Cubs pretty much out on Gonzalez. It appears teams who like him better and are willing to pay more.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That was reported previously, but now that the Dodgers have officially pulled out, the Cubs are still listed as one of 5 "Finalists". With LAD involved bidding tends to go overboard. So there may be renewed interest there.

  • Jesse Sanchez ‏@JesseSanchezMLB 3m
    As expected, teenage RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (Taiwan) has signed with the #Cubs for $1.625M. OF Eloy Jimenez signs next week http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/#list=int …

    As expected...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Does anyone know if we can get any Intl $$$ to avoid penalties? or are we just going LAD on the Intl Pool this year?

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The Cubs do not care about any penalties they incur. From a financial standpoint they've saved enough money in real dollars to pay all the guys they've signed.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    So then why trade Torress solely for Intl pool money?

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    What else could you get for him? Where is he going to play if you don't trade him? Why continue to pay his salary if he has no future in the organization? These guys do get paid you know. Isn't get something better than cutting him? And how could the Cubs have predicted they would sign all these guys when they made the trade?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    likely they made that move because they weren't sure that they could get all these IFA prospects when they were able to they decided to go for it all this year in the IFA pool

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Cat's been out of the bag on that for awhile. Thanks North Side as usual!

  • Eventually he would have had to be benched in favor of a younger player, if not now, certainly next season. By trading him now, the Cubs avoid the awkward feelings on both sides.

  • In reply to clarkaddison:

    Agreed.

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    In reply to clarkaddison:

    Word is he's going to be doing quite a bit of DHing for the Yankees, which is something we know he didn't want to do. I'd guess this was explicitly spelled out for him to "help him along" in his decision.

  • One report appears to be Corey Black coming back and the Yanks picking up $6.8 Million.

  • Is this Theo's first ever trade with the Yanks?

    I wan't a huge fan of Sori, but I think I will miss him. Seemed like a really, really good dude.

    That said, I'm not a huge fan of the trade. Why pay a player $18M and not get a top-10 team prospect back? Meh.

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    This is OT, but TV Money figures heavily into our team's long term prospects, and everyone elses's. Fangraphs has a good article on this, plus a very interesting chart showing the total take of every ML team:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/dodgers-could-be-last-team-to-strike-gold-with-local-tv-deal/

    The LA Dodgers get more local TV dollars than the entire NL Central put together.....with $200mil dollars a year left over! More than all 5 NL Central teams combined, who get about $140 mil total. WOW! No wonder they don't care what they spend!

    LA Angles and Rangers also collected well over $100mil/yr in TV $. Is they money they are spending really all that stupid in that context?

    We need some of these riches!

  • John Sickels posted his scouting report on Black, with video…says he thinks the Cubs did well.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/7/26/4559534/cubs-trade-alfonso-soriano-to-yankees-for-pitching-prospect-corey-black

  • If we look at the trade in purely financial terms Corey Black would have to be a 3.5 WAR player with the Cubs for this trade to work out.... but like many have mentioned this isn't really about recovering amounts due under Sori's contract. For as much as people will miss his work ethic, etc. I say he was paid well for his time here and the Cubs received their money's worth overall. It's a great time to move on for both parties and this trade season couldn't have gone much better for the FO. The amount of pitching talent acquired is much needed and the effect on the ML club is minimal IMO. Now it's just a matter of seeing who else is promoted in the coming months and how fast they can get to Chicago.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    If you want to try to do a WAR value analysis then you need to capture the cost adjusted WAR value of Soriano's replacement, as well as value of Soriano's cost adjusted WAR, and then then work to determine the WAR that Black would need to achieve on a cost adjusted basis.

    In essence, looking at the roster and payroll of pre-trade and post-trade and trying to estimate WAR.

    Or you could just say: it was the best deal on the table that Soriano would accept and it opened up an outfield spot and 7mm to spend elsewhere.

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    Corey Black could be a valuable bullpen piece down the line.

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    I'm not sure if this is the best place to pose this, but Lilly has been cut by the Dodgers. Could the Cubs sign him for the minimum and push Villeneuva or Rusin to the pen? I don't like the idea of 3 lefties in the rotation.

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    In reply to Ray A:

    Lilly's tank might be on "E". I don't see the point. Not that Rusin is much, but he's at least controlled.

  • Cubs paying approx $18mm, Yanks paying approx $7mm.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    As noted above and now reported by ESPN...

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    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    That makes it even better.

  • So now what happens? Are the Cubs done dealing or can we expect more? I still half way expect Theo to put Shark on the market shortly before the deadline.

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    In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Kevin Gregg is the next contestant. He's certain to be dealt, from what everyone says. His stock is slipping though, not sure what we can expect; probably just another low minors raw arm.

    Cubs seem to want to keep DeJesus; he is a good veteran presence. Navarro is really the only other expiring contract of any baseball value.

    Schierholz is interesting. I would be inclined to keep him, but then again, has his value ever been higher?

  • Guys:
    Awesome article on the front page of BP breaking down the trade from both team's perspectives. Good non-biased perspective on value given vs. value received, and how this trade helps both teams ultimately. Remember it takes 2 to tango in any trade situation, and that this isn't the Sori of 5 years ago.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21360

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Ryno, I just read that linked article and it was indeed informative. Both teams should benefit from this transaction.
    But the eye-opener for any Soriano Skeptics is the linked piece from last November about Sori as a transformed player and a clubhouse leader, by Sahadev Sharma.
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18894

    I recommend it to anyone who wants insight into this remarkable man.

  • who takes Soriano's roster spot? Sappelt get called right back?

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Nice to know that I am not the only Cubs fan that lives in UT. Where are you at? I'm down south.

  • Awesome stuff, John. Once the trade deadline has come and gone, would you consider posting a list to show how the Cubs top 10, or so, pitching prospects have changed because of the influx of new arms since the draft and through trades?

  • I hope Dale uses Thursday's off day to shuffle his rotation such that Rusin and Wood don't go back-to-back again!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    thats what a smart manager would do. so it probably won't happen.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    My bad! So much off-the-field and minor league news that one had to look really hard to know that the Cubs had actually played last night. They lost 3-1 by the way. I got a feeling there are more L's than W's coming our way the rest of the year.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    We didn't have the game recap today. I felt like Felzz needed a break. Late games can be tough on the writing schedule.

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    Put me in the column of people glad Soriano is gone. He might have been a wonderful teammate, but I just don't like some of the showboating habits he exhibits on the field. He never stood a chance of ever being accepted here once he signed such a big contract, as he never seemed to do anything to earn the money he was given.

    This ends the worst contract in Cubs history, and it's time to move on to better things in the future.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    Read this and see if you have the same opinion. At least it will be more informed.
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18894

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Some interesting points in the article, but doesn't move me to say that his tenure was worthwhile in Chicago. Sorry.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    He was pretty much the best player in 2007/2008 when the Cubs had a legitimate shot to win. I think the idea that he should have played like the contract the business suits so foolishly gave him is nonsense. The best he can do is play up to the level of his ability -- something that was hampered by injuries that were no fault of his own. In fact, the severe hamstring injury that cut so deeply into his speed and athleticism came early on and it came from playing hard and trying to take an extra base.

    If you want to blame someone for not living up to expectations, blame the marketing suits who gave him ridiculous money so that the team can have a marquee name and raise the value of the franchise. You can't blame him for taking the money and you can't fault him for not playing hard out there.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey John,

    Couple points of contention on what you wrote. The thing we agree on is that the suits do deserve blame on that deal. There's absolutely no denying it.

    However, I don't think that it's nonsense to hold him to a higher standard based on the money he received. Guys being paid like superstars should be just that: super stars. That's why they get paid boatloads of money. To not hold them to a higher standard is foolish on a number of levels. Just like Zito should be scrutinized for majorly under-performing in SF, Soriano should be taken to task for the same reason.

    I never understood why Soriano got a large number of free passes for under-performing, showboating and mental miscues. Guys like Milton Bradley and Jacque Jones were crucified by the bleacher creatures for much less (in total), and were run out of town. Yet, year after year, Soriano was untouchable and allowed to do what he did on the field.

    You mention Soriano having a good year in 2007, when the team had a shot to win. Yet what did he do in the post-season: hit .143 with no extra-base hits. The fact is he was never a cold-weather player, and he deserves some of the finger-pointing for the team not advancing.

    I get that, for whatever reason, there are Soriano supporters out there. Maybe he was great tossing balls to fans into the stands, maybe he was a great teammate, maybe he was good at parties....I don't know. What I do know is that he is responsible for living up to his part of a contract, as we all are when we sign a deal. I can't give him a free ride for signing a horrible deal, I can't give him a pass for pimping his non-home runs, and I sure as hell can't give him a pass for the Soriano hops in the outfield. There just seem to be a lot of excuses why he was never able to come through for the team.

    I have been waiting a long time for the post-Soriano era, and it's here. Yes, it will affect the team this year, but it's foolish to think this team was going to win anything once Feldman was dealt (signaling a sell-off). Whether he does well in NY is irrelevant to me. All I know is I hated the deal he signed, and am glad we are moving on.

    Just my honest opinion as a Cubs fan. Thanks.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    I'm not saying we should be satisfied with the production -- but to say he should live up to a contract that was deliberately overpaid for marketing purposes is unfair. We should satisfied that he gave just about everything he could on and off the field. That is the only part he could really control.

    And trivializing the person Soriano is by saying he's good at parties or throwing balls in the stands is pretty disappointing. I know that just about every teammate, media member, and member of the Cubs organization right down to the equipment manager would strongly disagree with that trivialization of Soriano's character.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was disappointed by his antics on the field, which is the only part where I question his character.

    We'll agree to disagree, and move on. Thanks for the great work, John.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    So be it. Glad you read it. We agree to disagree.
    Anyways, it's a new chapter now. Onward and upward !

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    A new chapter indeed. Hoping for the best.

  • In reply to Cubs 27:

    Read this and see if you have the same
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18894 opinion. At least it will be more informed.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Sorry for the double post and the jumbled insert. But my point is that we can't equate the man with the contract.
    The link again:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18894

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    John and Tom, nice coverage through all of these trades this month.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thanks JW!

  • This is a nice trade for the Cubs and it is very encouraging for the fans. They are willing to eat $18mil because he is blocking young talent. A year ago this wasn't the case, but now it is. This reminds me of when the Cubs traded Bill Buckner and put Durham at first base. Out with the old in with the new.

  • Good to see another power arm, at least we got something tangible out of dealing Soriano. One reminder of him is n ot to give extended contracts out to players who will start slowing down later in the contract. Ill bet the An gels right now regret the Pujols and Hamilton contracts already.

  • I saw Soriano in a golf cart riding to his car after one of the spring training games this year. I told him nice game and he said thank you in one of the more humble and sincere ways I've ever heard it said. I was impressed by him and wish him the best.

  • Followed a link from one of Brett's commenters indicating, if I read it correctly, that Black had TJS surgery in High School missing either his Junior or Senior Season. The website is Riveraveblues.com.

    How, if at all, does that effect your view of Black's future as a Cub? Thanks!

  • Count me as one who changed my tune on Soriano. My kid said to me today excitedly, "the Cubs traded Soriano dad. That's awesome. You hated him!"

    I am glad that he has become what he has, a leader and mentor. He seems like a very good man.

    But, I am not going to forget that he was not a good ballplayer for many years. Couldn't/wouldn't hit where they wanted him to hit in the order - causing lots of headaches; didn't run out long fly balls he thought were HRs, but weren't; was an absolutely terrible situational hitter, not moving runners (or trying to) and not driving them in; and bad in the post season.

    Kudos to him for turning his image around. It's amazing really. But, I'm feeling all this praise comes with a selective memory.

  • In reply to Morgzie:

    I don't know. Seems like you're engaging in some selecting memory and finding some things to nitpick -- especially when there are many players who do some of those same things.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I know there were times when he would get hot and carry the club for weeks at a time.

    What I saw was a selfish ball player who didn't seem like a good role model for the young players. And I wasn't hearing about how revered he was in the clubhouse at that time. I was seeing a veteran unwilling to play a team game - and I admit that I am more a fan of a team game than I am of a bunch of individuals. I perceived a lack of hustle and that really, really bugged me.

    It seems there was a transition and he deserves all the credit in the world for that. I am grateful for his recent mentoring and love it that the current players think he's a great teammate.

    I'm not convinced he would have gotten the same send off (from his teammates) 2-3 years ago.

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    I'm kind of sick of the Soriano love.

    In six+ years with the Cubs he never:
    (1) Brought peace to the middle east.
    (2) Cured cancer.
    (3) Reconciled general relativity with Newton's laws of motion.
    (4) Discovered the secret to increasing living standards in developing countries.

    For the money he was paid, he should have been able to do all of those in his spare time.

    And the smiling? Don't get me started on that. This team was losing. If the fans were miserable, I want every player on it weeping uncontrollably and beating their breasts with rocks in supplication until they win a World Series.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks, Mike.
    Isn't it amazing how the ones who hated having him here, don't like what we have now that he's gone?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    There never has been a need to reconcile General Relativity with Newton's 3 laws of motion.

    There is no secret to increasing living standards in developing countries: create a thriving manufacturing, commercial, or service economic base with high employment , a living wage, a good health care system, decent housing, strong infrastructure, and clean air and water.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    "create a thriving manufacturing, commercial, or service economic base with high employment , a living wage, a good health care system, decent housing, strong infrastructure, and clean air and water."

    Sounds nice. This has been attempted in third world countries for decades and, yet, none of them have succeeded nearly so insanely as Hong Kong -- which was given a code of laws and left to its own devices. This isn't the place for it, but it's a significantly thornier issue than that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    But it isn't a secret. There are good examples: Viet-Nam is one.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    If you're really interested in discussing this find me on Twitter.

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    I like the points raised by Hoosier Daddy in all of this.I know we're in rebuild mode here,but I still think we were doing enough of that without trading Soriano.I hope Schierholz isn't going too.Pitching is great,but we need hitting too.Soriano seemed to be doing better the past 2-3 seasons.I'm sorry to see him go,that's just my opinion I guess,but there it is.Good Luck in NY,Alfonso! Hopefully either he or Garza gets the ring.

  • I've had a love hate relationship at times with Soriano over the past 6 1/2 years but today I've realized that it was mostly love. Really sad to see him go under these circumstances. Really hope he finishes out his career very strong. Don't think the Yankees will be getting a ring over the next two seasons though.

  • I look forward to seeing Soriano at Cub functions in the future after he retires ala Kerry Wood, Fergie Jenkins, or Billy Williams. As frustrating as it was to see him whiff at low outside breaking pitches, even Ron Santo & Ernie Banks suffered regression late in their careers. Seeing Fonzie at his best during the past month along with Garza is exactly how I choose to remember them.

  • Hey John, any idea how many PTBN or cash the Cubs still have coming to them?

  • Might I ask if Corey Black turns out to be an outstanding setup or closer, would we be regretting the Soriano trade then?

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