UPDATE: (7/24/13 — 9:25 p.m. CDT)
Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein told reporters before the Cubs game tonight in Arizona that Alfonso Soriano has been given 2-3 days off to decide whether or not to sign off on a trade that would send the veteran outfielder to the New York Yankees.
“He’ll let us know where he’ll go, if anywhere. At that point, it’s up to us if we want to move forward and finalize a deal,” Epstein said, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Should Soriano accept the trade, the Yankees would add a power bat in a very weak lineup for the home stretch of 2013, as well as all of 2014. It is expected that Chicago pays most of his salary remaining on the deal, and will likely add some mid-level prospects.
UPDATE: (7/24/13 — 6:39 p.m. CDT)
After meeting with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer last night, Alfonso Soriano provided the duo with a list of teams he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for. Reportedly the New York Yankees are on that list.
Obviously, this is significant due to the fact that for the past 48 hours, the two teams have been engaged in talks concerning the outfielder. The 37-year old said he has enjoyed his time with Chicago, but commented, “Sometimes we have to move,” according to CSN’s Patrick Mooney. Furthermore, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that Soriano believes this year’s rumors are more likely than in the past, but it’s still “not 100 percent.”
We reported earlier that Soriano is not in the Cubs’ starting lineup against Arizona tonight. According to reports, team skipper Dale Sveum wanted to give Soriano the night off to help “clear his mind” with everything that has been going on in the past few days.
UPDATE: (7/24/13 —5:17 p.m. CDT)
Alfonso Soriano is out of the starting lineup tonight in Arizona. The Cubs say its just a scheduled day off for Soriano, but with the rumor mill in full swing, the decision is bound to turn some heads across the league.
UPDATE: (7/24/13 —4:24 p.m. CDT)
A lone report has emerged saying that the Cubs are simply awaiting Soriano’s okay to send him to the New York Yankees. ChicagoNow and Aerysports.com writer Julie DiCaro claims to have a “reliable source” telling her that the team is “waiting for the word to take down Alfonso Soriano‘s photo (which is apparently bolted to the wall) in the press room at Wrigley.)
No other Cubs beat writers, including Paul Sullivan nor Patrick Mooney, have even hinted at any progression in talks between the two teams. Further rumors have stated that the 37-year old outfielder is contemplating the deal to the Yankees, although this has not been confirmed by Soriano or his agent.
“My agent sent me a text message telling me the Yankees called and he said [the Cubs] called him,” Soriano said. “If they are getting closer, I will think about it. The president [Theo Epstein] told my agent there was nothing close yet. If we get something close, I want to have time to think about it.”
According to Epstein, there are several potential scenarios he plans to discuss with Soriano while Cubs’ management is in Phoenix with the team taking on Arizona this week.
“I will align his options, from exercising his no-trade right to the various teams that have interest in him, and we will go from there,” Epstein said. “He has served a great purpose here, mentoring a lot of our young players. At the same time, there comes a time when you can go into a pennant race toward the end of your career that is appealing. There also comes a time when it can afford other young players an opportunity to play here. There is a natural time of transition that arises.”
For a full history of the talks between the clubs, click here.