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.

  • MJ

    This is starting to remind me of Fred McGriff in 2001, when he needed a bunch of time to decide he would leave the, then, Devil Rays.

    • Falselife

      Yeah, Fred was a lifer in Tampa though. That was his retirement job, as he planned to just play out what years he had close to home. Then he had a bit of a resurgence and thought he would take a shot at getting a title. He was born and raised there and lives there still today.

      Chicago to Soriano isn’t as Tampa was to Fred.

  • Jason Powers

    Sory holds the cards.

    Marmol warming up for LA Dodgers.
    Announcer, “marmol has a terrific arm.”

    • Jason Powers

      Marmol going in to pitch…

      • Jason Powers

        Announcer: “Marmol was a victim of playing for the Cubs…Cubs fans are docile…until they turn on you.”

        • Jason Powers

          Steve Lyons is said announcer.

          • Jason Powers

            Marmol’s hitting 94MPH. Slider still wild.

            Walked DeRosa.

            • Falselife

              He is getting shelled.

              • Jason Powers

                I went on to Boston/Rays game. More important.

          • Brett

            So he’s pretty much talking solely about the Bartman thing.

            • Cheese Chad

              I’d liked to think we would turn on a guy like Braun or arid if they lied to us like they have. I personally would have no problem booing my own player for something like that.

            • DrReiCow

              Which, to be fair, was not our finest moment. :(


        • Tommy

          I love when two bit announcers generalize an entire fan base.

          • Jason Powers

            Lyons was a White Sox player for a while in the late 1980s, so he grossly extrapolated from his time in Chicago about what Cubs fans were to him I’d bet.

            Just funny to hear other broadcasts take on Cubs doings.

            • Tommy

              Good call, Jason.

              Just one more reason for me to hate the Dodgers. They’re the new Yankees in my book.

    • cubzfan23

      Marmol 3 er in .2 inn… to funny

      • Eric

        I would LOVE to see that entire inning starting with them criticizing the entire Cub fan base for turning on Marmol. I would love to hear the wrongness in their voice as each new run was allowed.

  • Rizastro

    The brewers got the Orioles#4 prospect for k-rod. We theoretically can get a nice return for sori and pay for a chunk of contract let alone if we package him with valbuena/Navarro. I have total confidence in the FO and believe they will not make a bad decision trading sori

  • Kramden

    I don’t think it’s going to happen with the Yankees only because Cashman isn’t used to dealing from a position of weakness. If he continues to act like he holds all the cards he’ll walk away empty handed and Soriano will either be dealt elsewhere or stay with the Cubs.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Cashman can adapt.

    • Rizastro

      Very true kramden, Jed and Theo could be using the tanks as leverage as well. I believe Theo and cashman were never trade partners before

      • TheoHoyer

        Cubs sent Alberto Gonzalez and Brent Lillibridge to the Yankees earlier this year, in 2 separate trades. Never a major trade though.


    Krod just got traded to the Orioles. They actually got a bit of value for him. This could mean good things for a Gregg trade. Look for a Russell and nate the great for some pitching prospects from the pirates.

  • Dustin S

    Part of me says he’s earned the NTC…but when he says he’ll only go to certain cities, only contending teams, only as an occasional DH and still wants assured that he’ll play OF, and only come to me when a deal is close and then I’ll take time to consider it…I have to admit it sure feels like Soriano is milking it for all it’s worth. Plus on the other side we have to pay most of his remaining salary including 2014 for a likely meh return on a player that for whatever reason few teams want. Theo and Jed might win a bigger award for a Sori trade than the Garza one.

    • Jimmy James

      I have no problem with it, he has actually become one of the more likable guys on the team the last two seasons….this is coming from a guy who three years ago would have been fine paying his entire salary in a swap for a six inch sub sandwich. Of course he wants to be traded to a contender ( and frankly, what would a no contender want him for?) if he his going to be on a losing team, he might as well stay where he is comfortable. He has worked hard on his defense and really isn’t a liability out there anymore,

      • arta

        lol, sorry but he IMO is still bad on D.

      • Cubman23

        Sori will only go to a contender…which is why he vetoed a trade to SF last year and missed his WS chance. Completely baffles me. You might not find another player in pro sports in his situation (39, end of his contract, played in two WS and lost both) that would do that. These are supposed to be some of the most competitive people on the planet.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          It’s not just about winning he wants to be closer to his family if he is traded that’s why he said no west coast teams (besides LAD).

          • Cubman23

            I don’t get that either. For mere mortals, that would be a big deal. But for super crazy multimillionaires, they can solve pretty much any problem – buy an extra house, move the family, pull them from one pricey private school and put them in another, etc. During ST, he’s away from his family no matter who he plays for. During the season, all he has to do is get through the 3.5 months (the kids/wife could resettle during summer break). Plus all the time that he can go to them or vice versa.

            I have an 8 month old and if I had no financial constraints and was offered the chance to relocate for a few months in order for a chance to achieve the greatest possible accomplishment in my profession, I would go in a heartbeat. In fact, I don’t think my family could respect me for not taking that chance.

            • Kyle

              Treating money like that is why so many of them end up broke shortly after their playing days.

              Everyone has financial restraints, even multimillionaires.

              • hansman1982

                You know the difference between a billionaire and a millionaire? The billionaire is the guy next door.

              • Cubman23

                Lack of money is not a hindrance here. I don’t doubt that millionaires have financial restraints, but he ain’t your average millionaire. The man with earnings north of $150 million would have no problem working it out. Many, many players have done it on much lower salaries.

              • Cubman23

                Buying $50k watches, 10 ferraris, and giving your friends handshake loans is what makes the MC Hammers’ of the world lose their fortune. Buying a second home and airfare for the family to visit? Chump change and happens all the time with pro athletes.

                I just don’t see how this doesn’t make you question his motives.

                Theo: “Hey Sori, we’ve got a deal for you to go to SF – they’re headed to the playoffs and won the WS the year before last. You might finally have the chance to play in a WS on the winning side!”
                Sori: “Nah, I gotta go to an east coast team. Those extra 2 hours on a plane are really killer. I’d rather stay here to play out my contract for a crap team that won’t be any good until sometime after my contract ends.”

                • TXCB32

                  Soriano has earned the right to control where he goes. It’s not his fault he got a no-trade clause and has 10-5 rights. He doesn’t owe Theo and Jed anything.

    • fresno cub fan

      I agree. I like Sori, but his stances come across to me as not really a team player. Don’t team players play where the manager wants him to? Where it benefits the team the most?

      • mudge

        When is a team player not a team player? When he’s not on the team.

      • 5412


        This is Dempster all over. Soriano’s bitch is the pressure he got when the Yankees went public. I agree with him.


  • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

    Is this the same Dale Sveum that said 100% that Garza would make the start yesterday.

    • ssckelley

      Yeah I think Sveum is the last guy I would interview to get any insight on trades.

  • Jon

    The Cubs don’t necessarily need to move Sori but the Yankees sure as hell need another bat. There is no pressure here on the Cubs, and Theo should stand his ground on compensation and prospects

  • Rcleven

    Why would the Cubs even deal with the Yankees for what is rumored in return. A 24 yo A+ reliever? San Fran DFA Hunter Strickland (a Theo pick in 09) with great numbers and can be had for the claim.
    Yankees be damned.

  • Brian Peters

    F L A…..and I ain’t talkin’ about Florida.

  • cubsin

    An interesting factoid: through yesterday’s games, Soriano had hit nine home runs this month, while the entire Yankees team had hit eight.

    • Whiteflag

      Oh, that is a nice little fact.

  • Corey

    Almora Castro Rizzo Soler Olt Baez Bryant Catcher and Pitcher.

    I like that.

  • Cheese Chad

    That’ll do

  • gutshot5820

    If Sveum says a deal is not even close and is being way overblown. Prepare for an announcement soon that Soriano has been traded. Seriously, he is like the least prophetic person on the planet. It’s almost comical how he is the last person to get the real info. As if Theo is using him as a plant to spread disinformation.

  • Assman22

    Cubs trying to package players in 2 for 1 deals for best prospect possible…Gregg/Schierholtz to Pirates…Russell/Valbuena to Indians…Soriano/Valbuena to Yankees…only one week left of trade season…Cubs will be very active…

    • someday…2015?

      Gregg and Shierholtz for Glasnow?
      Russell for Lee?
      Soriano and Valbuena for Banuelos and Betances?

      Any of these deals sound possible?

      • Patrick G

        For as thin as the Yankees system is, I wouldn’t mind these 2. They were highly regarded two years ago and have had pretty good year this season

    • Jp3

      Yeah we’ll Soriano will think about the deals and get back to you the day after the trade deadline… I live Soriano but he’s very Dwight howardy

      • Jp3

        He wants to be on a contender but not really…, maybe though, nah I’ll stay here, unless they want to move me…

      • Jp3

        Live=love soriano

  • Assman22

    Cubs still hot after a couple competitive balance picks but may re-visit one or both until after the season…

    • Believe in 2015

      How is the interest in Soriano? Any return worth trading for?

      • Assman22

        Yankees or bust…player swap has been agreed upon by both parties…both teams checking in with MLB on money/taxes…

        • waittilthisyear

          does anyone think that, if soriano finishes this year strong and starts next year strong, he could be worth more next deadline? i realize that’s an iffy proposition

        • X the Cubs Fan

          Any hints on the agreed upon players? Is just a 1 for 1 deal?

          • Assman22

            1 for 1…

            • someday…2015?

              Anything decent?

              • X the Cubs Fan

                Im guessing its either a reliever or a catcher so is it one of Withey, Montgomery, Murphy, Black, Banuelos, Betances, Goody or Romine?

                • Rcleven

                  Hearing Withey or De La Cruz.

            • Kramden

              If that was even remotely true, Soriano would’ve been removed from the game.

              • X the Cubs Fan

                He still has to accept a trade and Theo and Jed haven’t even spoke to him yet.

                • Kramden

                  So what you’re saying is that everybody now knows Soriano’s been traded to the Yankees except Soriano?

                  Mum’s the word…. Let’s not say anything or he’ll get pissed and nix the deal.

        • Believe in 2015

          Thanks. What’s the earliest a deal could get done?

  • arta

    didn’t Gregg say very recently that he can’t wait to be traded to a contender? knowing the Yankees might be interested, why would Sori need any time to think about it? just asking.

    • Njriv

      Because unlike Gregg, Soriano would be with the Yankees next season also. I guess he has to check with his family.

      • Andrew

        Because gregg is a FA next year he knows that performing well for a playoff team=$$$ in the offseason. Soriano has no monetary incentive to leave.

      • mudge

        Where does the family live?

  • Bsteady

    I only read a few comments, and I originally wanted to talk about Sori. I saw somewhere someone said Marmol was a victim of playing for the Cubs. Marmol was a victim of what’s between his ears! That’s the most accurate thing you will ever read about Carlos Marmol. With the slider he has/had he could’ve used his mid 90’s(above average fastball) as his change-up if you will, had he not lost it between the ears. He’s done.

  • Bsteady

    Unless he’s a V3 client, and visits Dr. Dani Santino! Ha! (for the Necessary Roughness viewers)

  • Bsteady

    Now on to Soriano…I was like most everyone else who wanted him gone no matter what 2 years ago. He’s proven to be a very good teammate with a very, very good work ethic. And that’s more valuable than any of us will ever know with young guys looking to someone to learn from. I don’t think the money is the thing here; it’s the prospects. He should be worthy of 2 top 20 of any teams prospects. And if you’re paying 15+million for someone to hit 20+ homeruns in 2014 for another ball club, that in and of itself may be worth another top 30 organizational prospect. Bring on the other suitors.

  • Bsteady

    Meaning the Cubs will eat salary to get prospects. And as Bret mentioned not only would the Yankees acquire a slugger(who could gain an extra spring in his step by playing with the team he started with) they could get help getting under the luxury cap in this deal. I’m sure Theo and Jed are using this as leverage in obtaining prospects. 3 average prospects won’t cut it. But 2 good will, I believe. After the Garza deal don’t expect them to get robbed. Soriano is valuable to the Chicago Cubs. I was wavering on my FO confidence but the Garza deal (at least for now) has me seeing differently. #could be real fun in 3 years!

  • Bsteady

    I’m ready for somebody to talk some baseball with me!……!

  • Bsteady

    Weren’t Betances and/or Banuelos top prospects a year or two ago?

  • TXCB32

    I know it’s early, but Bryant is not playing well.

  • Bsteady

    JD just put the mother of jinxes on Rondon

  • Bsteady

    and not worried about Bryant just yet….what’s he doing?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I missed most of the game. Saw Jamie Quirk walkin out to the mound? Did Sveum get thrown out of the game?

    • willis

      Yeah, Ransom threw a fit and Sveum came out to protect him. Got tossed.

  • AD

    Looking forward to checking out Olt at the Iowa Cubs game tomorrow night.

  • Brent

    Haha that just made tonight worth while. Great to see Nate hit the ball hard. Schierholtz & Gregg to the Pirates for Glasnow.

  • Bsteady

    Ransom had a tough night. Most nights those called 3rd strikes are balls. Tough night, but in the end you’ve gotta foul those off and battle to live another day