alfonso soriano hittingThe day started with an Alfonso Soriano deal to the New York Yankees “close,” and it looks like it’s going to end with a “large gap” between the two sides. That, according to Buster Olney, who reports that, as of this evening, there’s a large gap between how each of the Cubs and Yankees value Soriano, and how the money he’s owed should be accounted for.

It’s safe to guess that the Cubs say Soriano is worth “a lot” and the Yankees should pay “a lot” of his salary, while the Yankees counter that he’s worth “a little” and they should pay “a little” of his salary. Negotiations!

But seriously, the valuation of Soriano – setting aside the salary – is complicated by his age (37), his uptick in defensive value over the last two years, his surging bat over the last few weeks, his great season in 2012, and his off-the-field value to the Cubs organization (i.e., great in the clubhouse, great with young players, etc.). Soriano, to the Cubs, might be worth more than his stat sheet tells the Yankees he’s worth. Then again, given the Yankees’ desperation for a bat, and their precarious playoff positioning, Soriano might be a hell of a lot more valuable to the Yankees than he is to the Cubs.

And then you get into the financial side of things, and it gets downright crazy. Soriano makes $18 million this and next year, and, although he’s a useful starter, we can all agree that he’s probably no longer worth that level of compensation. So, to acquire any kind of value, the Cubs will have to chip in some cash. How much, however, is going to take a while to mete out – especially when you consider that, if the Cubs chip in enough, they could actually help the Yankees’ luxury tax situation in 2014.

For his part, Soriano told the media (lots of Twitter links here) this evening that he hasn’t yet spoken with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer about a possible trade, but confirmed that the Yankees had reached out to his agent about their interest (presumably after permission from the Cubs). If a deal gets close, Soriano says he’ll want a little time to think about it, but he’s “open to anything.” He’s not going to decide on waiving his no-trade rights until a deal really is close, though, which he does not believe is currently the case. Dale Sveum called today’s rumors “overblown.”

I imagine we’ll hear more about this in the coming days as the Cubs and Yankees presumably continue to talk, and as the front office reaches out to Soriano about possible deal(s). This may rise to the level of an Obsessive Watch …

UPDATE (8:01pm CT): Carrie Muskat spoke to Theo Epstein, and he indicated that he’ll soon speak to Soriano about his options. There are more teams interested than just the Yankees. That’s good news.

UPDATE 2 (8:19pm CT): Muskat has a full write-up, and it sounds like both Epstein and Soriano were pretty upset that the rumored deal broke overnight. Epstein told Muskat, “[The Yankees are] not the first team to call [about Soriano]. They’re the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away.” And Soriano was surprised to see that the Cubs were “close” to a deal when he hadn’t heard anything from the Cubs. “When I saw it on TV, I got a little surprised. I didn’t know it was coming – they put a lot of pressure on me, because a lot of friends called me and family when they saw the rumor on TV. My agent and me, we have the control. We talked, and I think if something happens, I want to be the first one to know.” Soriano has no-trade rights, and, for that reason, he’s right that this is how things should play out. See Muskat’s piece for more.

  • TXCB32

    Bryant now 0/5 with 5 k’s

  • Bsteady

    I saw Olt highlights for the first time on MLB network last night, and I must say, I’m no scout but that compact, quick, powerful swing looks VERY, VERY legit to me. Of course, vision problems can throw that completely off. That was Theo and Jed’s job to have already taken care of. His defense looked pretty dang good too, and he can be your back-up first baseman. With us now being deep at 3rd, that’s a plus as well….C.J. Edwards intrigues me with his 48th round draft choice and his quick rise, and phenomenal season. Some guys just need a little instruction.

  • Clark Addison

    Kris Bryant’s Boise debut was in auspicious. 5 for 5. Strikeouts. The platinum sombrero.

    • Vulcan


    • Coop

      With Cubs acquisition of Olt, Bryant sees the writing on the wall and is pressing. Better step is up or he will get shipped out.

      – love, DieHard.

      • TWC

        Close, but too many words. Try:

        “With acquisition of Olt, Bryant sees writing on wall and is pressing… step up or get shipped out. Dick Tidrow.”

        • Coop

          News Report – Bryant switched to pitcher. Can’t hack it with bat.

  • Bsteady

    OUCH!!!!!! never even heard of the platinum sombrero

  • Bsteady


    • TXCB32

      If Bryant gets nerves playing in Idaho, we’re in trouble.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    If Soriano didn’t accept a trade to the Yankees if a deal was on the table, I’d be a little pissed. I wouldn’t be mad because we’d miss out on the mediocre prospect they’d said back for him but just because that’s just a cubbie thing to happen. A guy is would decline a trade because he’s content with losing at the twilight of his career. Don’t get me wrong its his right and he earned it but why the heck wouldn’t the guy like to go to New York City and win a ring.

    • mudge

      Lots of reasons. Maybe his family likes Chicago. Maybe he likes his teammates, and Wrigley Field and its fans. Why wouldn’t you respect that more than just “wanting to win?”

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Don’t have kids so maybe I don’t understand yet. But he can still have his family in Chicago and just play out the a season and 2 months of a contract in New York. He’s loaded and can afford to fly back whenever he wants. I get my opinion can be a very arrogant take but give me the chance at the ring. Plus he’d be going to New York City, its not like he’d be getting traded to Cleveland.

        Like I said its his right. But its a such a cubbie thing to happen. Players fall in love with the city (don’t blame him, Best city in the world).

        • mudge

          I don’t even know where his family is. Maybe they live in Jackson, TN. What strikes me as odd is that the FO doesn’t seem to have a clear list of where he’s willing to go, which doesn’t seem fair. You’ve got to have that list before wasting precious resources negotiating.

          • CubsFaninMS

            It sounds to me like Soriano doesn’t really have a “list” because he wants to play each proposal by ear. I’m sure they’ve requested for one. Soriano definitely feels like the hammer… and not the nail.

            • Jp3

              He’s right when he was quoted saying me and my agent are in control but that doesn’t mean he’s not being a dong about the situation. I think it’d be fine if he came out and said no thanks, I love living in Chicago, if they want to move on out without me fine then I’ll retire a cub after they cut me. I don’t want to play baseball for another team. If he’d just be vague about it I wouldn’t give a rip but all this play it by ear garbage he’s done the last couple of years is annoying.

          • willis

            There’s a really good Steak n Shake in Jackon, and an ok Cheddar’s. Not a bad place.

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          They love the City of Chicago, the fans until the fans turn on them, day baseball, the grass, the fans being so close, the fact that the park until this year sells quite a few seats even for meaningless games and the fact that everyone wants to be in the Cubs when they finally win it. What’s not to love about being a Cubbie?

          • MichiganGoat

            The locker room, training facilities, bullpen… they are worse than many high schools. Now with the remodel finally happening these will be top quality and then I’d agree players will love Wrigley even more.

            I’m not sure how much of a plus day games are to players, I think its been discussed before that playing day games really wears on the body because of the increase heat exposure. But yes having a chance to be on the team that changes it all would be worth everything to a player.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Mudge: If Soriano didn’t accept a trade to the Yankees. Soriano was all talk too when he said earlier in the season when he talked, about how much he wanted to win and hated being on a winning baseball team.

        Its not the biggest deal in the world to me and I don’t want to debate on if he should or shouldn’t accept a trade. It’s not like we’d be getting a great prospect in return. I think his value to our team is invaluable and I really like him, but I was just pointing out its just would be just such a cubbie thing to happen if he turned down a deal

        • mudge

          It would be. But at that point you’ve got to wonder why the FO didn’t get clarity before starting negotiations. Got to be a huge waste of resources if so.

      • arta

        and the cubs don’t have to start him!

  • papabear

    went and saw the I-cubs tonight – Olt not there – Vitters was bad – looked real bad at the plate and at first – acted like he didn’t care. Came home with very few positives – not much at iowa to help the Cubs.

    Henry Rodriguez threw a 99 mph fastball which was pretty cool – but he did not dominate. He was lucky not to give up runs – he didn’t walk anybody.

    Logan Watkins got thrown out at second on a steal – play not close – poor jump and not the speed i was expecting. Defence was ok – not the range i was expecting.

    They did finally win the game – Both teams deserved to lose- Pitching not very good and batting worst. Lots of swings at pitches no where near the plate. Didn’t see one player ready to play in the MLB. The night sucked

  • Vulcan

    5 K’s for Bryant? … Well, at least the ‘Lake Show’ keeps on rollin’!

  • Bsteady

    not about nerves at Boise…nerves at his very first EVER professional baseball game. and the Yankees are a LONG shot to make the playoffs, much less the World Series. It’s just a better chance the Cubs, and his first team. The Rangers, Rays, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, A’s, Nats, and even the Pirates are better fits.

  • papabear

    Had to leave early – Daughter pregnant and got sick – so i didn’t see Schlitter pitch – I did want to see him because people who know baseball tell me he is pretty good.

    Vitter’s last year looked like a world beater tonight looked like someone stole all is Halloween candy.

    • Jed Jam Band

      It’s likely that the acquisition of Olt has confirmed all of his worst fears about his place in this organization and the nature of his status as a baseball player.

      • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

        Soriano and Valbuena or Ransom should go to the
        Yankees. Yanks 3rd base situation is terrible and either
        would be an upgrade for them. This opens up Olt for
        3rd for August and September and see what he is capable
        of we know he has been hot the last 2 weeks. With
        trading 2 guys we should get a couple solid prospects

  • Popeye

    We are going to pay most of Sori’s contract, loose one of our best hitters and a great clubhouse guy, and get little in return? Why are we making this deal again? Why don’t we wait until the trade deadline next year to make this deal. If we are going to be paying him anyway, why don’t we actually use him? To me, it’s kind of like me giving you my house and paying the mortgage, and you giving me a tent.

    • Ben

      You wouldn’t think they are going to trade him just because it sounds fun. They won’t trade him unless they feel they are getting something in return, in my opinion.

      Have some faith people. Did you not see the trade they just pulled off for Garza? These guys know what they’re doing.

    • JM

      Since we ARE going to pay all or most of Soriano’s contact, maybe they feel that moving him will allow them to move forward with their rebuilding plans. I’m not anxious to see him go, am anxious to see some of our younger guys play in the big leagues.

  • Jp3

    Well looks like our “Future of the Cubs at 3B” picks struggled a bit last night with Bryant and Vitters trying to out do each other going a combined 0-9 and 8 Ks. Bryant took home the 1st place trophy with whatever is worse than the Golden Sombrero at 0-5 Ks. He’s a bit rusty I’d say.

  • Voice of Reason

    While I’d like to move Soriano and get a prospect, I don’t want to move him just to move him and help the Yankees out. Screw them… if they want a pretty solid bat and we’re picking up most of the tab then they need to give us something. Otherwise, keep Soriano. It’s not like Soriano is standing in the way of some hot, young prospect.

  • Assman22

    Yankees/Cubs are not as far apart as many are reporting…deal may take a bit to setup with MLB due to the money and Yankees’ payroll tax worries…the swap is all but done…deal may take until August to complete…

    • booya

      any word on who comes back in return? (list of names?)

  • Ivy Walls

    Wager that Soriano does not don the pin stripes but ends up with Baltimore, TB or Red Sox. Screw the Yanks, and bet it was Hendry whispering the do not tell anyone to the beat writer,

  • CubsFaninMS

    We better get a solid return on Soriano. He’s been a consistent .260 BA, 30 HR, 80 RBI threat over the past several years and shows no signs yet of age-related loss in production. That’s a good #6 hitter on ANY team and a better replacement to a #5 hitter on most teams. I’m confident they’ll get something good back for him if they trade. No one talks much about this but, for 37 years old, Alfonso Soriano is putting up some very solid numbers this year. Think about this… what will Albert Pujols numbers look like when he turns 37? Will they be this good? Something to think about. Soriano is not a castaway, even if his contract is highly unpopular.

  • DarthHater

    Somebody needs to explain to Soriano that his no-trade clause does not give him the power to control what everybody else in the world can and cannot say. Rumors in the newspapers – whether surprising to him or not – do not affect his ability to veto any trade, so he should just grow up and deal with it.

    • Jp3

      Yes Darth! I didn’t see your reply until I responded with mine. Samezies. He needs to stop acting like a 6th grade girl that falls and skins her knee.

  • cub2014

    This FO isnt going to give Sori away. Why would they?
    Dump salary not likely. If the package is good enough
    he is gone, if not he stays. We have no corner outfielders
    ready to take over and very few options in FA so he
    is still the best option for the Cubs.

  • Roscoe Village Fan

    Kinda weird that if Soriano hadn’t nixed the trade with SF last year, he’d have won a world series. I wonder if he even cares…dude seems fine with playing out his career here for zero chance of winning

    • mudge

      He didn’t go to San Francisco, if indeed a trade was on the table which is questionable, because it’s cold there and he has bad knees. So sick of reading this meme here – didn’t go to the first trade possibility so he “just doesn’t care about winning.” Give it a rest.

      • Jp3

        I don’t think people have a problem he rejected (allegedly) a trade to SF, I think they have a problem with the vagueness of where he will go. If he just said hey I’ve got 10-5 rights and I don’t want to leave Chicago so don’t even bother we’d all be like shit, hendry’s fault but since he says essentially come get me when there is an offer so I can sit on it and ponder it for while is bullshit. He’s earned the 10-5 rights but the super vague part irritates me.

        • mudge

          He’s got a wife and 6 kids. Maybe it’s not entirely his decision.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    The best comment I heard towards Sori is, just have a seat until you decide who you want to play for.

  • DarthHater

    New twitter rumor that a trade of Soriano to the Yankees is close. Don;t believe it. Alfonso will stall giving his approval to the trade, just in order to prove that he can.

    • Jp3

      No sh!t, I know Garza didn’t have a NTC but he didn’t act like the team owed him constantly.

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  • Assman22

    Neil Ramirez placed on DL with biceps strain…Cubs won’t be naming that PTBNL anytime soon…

    • Jp3

      What’s funny with all that nonsense Ramirez’ agent was talking about him bing totally healthy.

    • SirCub

      You mean they won’t B N that P L.

  • mudge

    Apparently a player with 5-10 rights or a no-trade clause can’t go through a negotiation without having their character impugned here. Perhaps it’s just part of the letting go process.

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