UPDATE: (7/23/13 —10:05 p.m. CDT)
However, discussions are still in the early stages, given the fact that Soriano has not spoken to Cubs management in person, and no talks concerning waiving his no-trade clause have occurred.
Furthermore, the New York Yankees are the only team that have spoken with Soriano’s agent in recent days, despite rumors that several teams have inquired about the 37-year old’s services. The outfielder is “open to anything” trade-wise, as long as he is able to continue playing every day, according to media reports.
Talks between the Yankees and Cubs are expected to continue until a deal is reached, as several media outlets have reported that this deal makes “too much sense” for either team to balk during the talks. Regardless, it appears that the face of the Cubs franchise for most of the last decade is destined to be nearing the end of his time as a member of the Northsiders.
UPDATE: (7/23/13 — 8:04 p.m. CDT)
According to a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, there is a “large gap” between the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs in the ongoing talks concerning veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
However, Jim Bowden of MLB Network radio earlier in the day said that a trade “absolutely” gets done, although he expects it to take around a week to work out what he called a completely complex deal, due to the large salary that will be changing hands. However, it is expected that Chicago will pay a large portion of this amount if a deal is going to get done.
A ruling on Alex Rodriguez and his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic is also expected tomorrow, which will play a large role in the discussion between Chicago and New York moving forward. If Rodriguez is out for the rest of 2013, the Yankees will need to replace his lost production in some form.
I called it.
I don’t mean to be so “in-your-face” about it, but two weeks ago, I authored a Cubbies Crib post that broke down exactly why the New York Yankees would, and should, pursue Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
Reports began last night that the two sides were working out details that would send the 37-year old to New York in exchange for a mid-level prospect, and let’s just be frank – a whole lot of cash.
Boston shows no signs of relenting in the American League East, and are being closely pursued by the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays who have lost just twice in their last 20 games, as well as the Orioles, who continue to bash their way to wins behind Chris Davis, who is on pace for 62 home runs this season – which would set an American League record.
But, I digress. The Yankees need help offensively. With Major League Baseball issuing its first decision on the Biogenesis scandal yesterday, suspending Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun for the remainder of 2013 without pay, Yankees management have to consider that even if Alex Rodriguez comes off the disabled list soon, he faces similar punishment. Ironically, it was in the trade to acquire Alex Rodriguez that Soriano went to Texas, way back in 2003.
Soriano has a full no-trade clause, which held up a deal last year when General Manager Jed Hoyer attempted to deal him to the eventual-World Champion Giants. However, at this point, it appears that upper management of both clubs are intent on working this deal out – and soon. Hoyer, however, has cautioned both fans and the media from blowing these rumors out of proportion.
“We’ve had discussions with different teams about [Soriano], but there’s nothing close at all,” Hoyer told Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette. “That’s one of those rumors you wake up to and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting, I didn’t know we’d done that.’ [Talks] aren’t as advanced as those reports make it seem.”
The Yankees-Cubs talks were indeed confirmed this morning, though, by a Cubs source – according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sullivan described the talks as being in the preliminary stages, but said that it appears both sides appear motivated to getting something worked out, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
In 2013, Whitley has a 3.52 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 38 1/3 innings of work.