As they’ve long been expected to do, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol have cleared waivers, allowing them to be freely traded from now until the end of the season (but, recall, a guy has to be on your roster by August 31 to be included on your playoff roster).
The report comes from Jon Heyman, fresh on the heels of the revelation that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, and will be suspended 50 games. The connection, obviously, is the Cubs’ desire to move outfielder Soriano, and the Giants’ now need for an outfielder. Unfortunately, Soriano has already doused that connection with his no-trade rights, previously informing the Cubs that he would not accept a trade to the Giants. Sure, it’s possible that he could change his mind (or be convinced to change his mind), but he was pretty adamant that he would not consider a West Coast team outside of the Dodgers.
In other words, I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to the Giants connection right now, but we’ll have to see what develops over the next few days. If the Giants are going to act – and if Soriano is going to change his mind – you’ve got to figure it’s going to be quickly.
Heyman separately reports that, prior to the trade deadline, the Cubs offered to pay down enough of Soriano’s contract to make him a $3 million per year player (he’s owed $18 million per year through 2014), but they couldn’t get a bite. It’s hard to figure why a contender wouldn’t want Soriano’s bat at that bargain rate, but maybe the Cubs were asking for the moon in prospects in conjunction with that offer.
As for Marmol, the Cubs will continue to monitor the market, as this whole waiver-clearing thing was merely perfunctory.