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Jed HoyerAs referenced in this morning’s stream of updates to the overnight report from the New York Post that the Cubs and Yankees were “close” to completing a trade that would send Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was on MLBN Radio this morning and addressed the rumor directly.

“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.”

Hoyer probably wouldn’t tell the world even if the Cubs were close a trade involving Soriano – it’s not really in the Cubs’ interest to do so – but, for now, we’ve got to take him at his word. Discussions are likely ongoing, and a deal could theoretically be struck at any moment, but we may not need to be on pins and needles on this one.

Hoyer added that he was conducting the interview from the airport, where he was waiting for his flight to Arizona to join the team. He indicated, when asked about whether he’s talked to Soriano about any deals specifically or generally (Soriano has no-trade rights), that he would probably talk to Soriano once he got to Arizona. That certainly makes you think that, whether it’s this Yankees deal or something else, the Cubs do feel like trading Soriano is going to be a near-term possibility.

Hopefully, more teams than just the Yankees are involved, giving the Cubs a variety of options. Soriano has been as hot as any player in baseball for the last few weeks, so it would be unsurprising – assuming the Cubs eat salary – to find that a few teams are interested in adding his bat.

UPDATE (1:25pm CT): I don’t necessarily expect to be doing rolling updates on this for the rest of the day, but Joel Sherman shared a bit, so I’ll at least do one update … according to Sherman, one player in whom the Cubs have previously expressed interest is infielder David Adams. He’s got an unusual story, being that he’s already 26 and is at AAA for the first time. As a college draftee, he got a late start, and then missed time in 2010 and 2011 with a serious ankle injury. He then missed time in 2012 with back spasms, but made up for it a bit in the Arizona Fall League. He was a roster casualty in early 2013 (Vernon Wells – the Yankees preferred to have Vernon Wells on the 40-man roster), so he’s already been derostered once. On the upside, he has pretty much always hit when healthy, especially for a guy who can play second base. But this is a fringe roster guy, not a prospect. That is not to say he’s not a guy you’d love to get on a minor league deal, but he’s not the kind of guy you make the focus of a trade involving Soriano and a ton of cash (especially given how advantageous this deal could be for the Yankees, financially). Sherman concedes that he’s not sure if Adams would be involved in this deal.

UPDATE 2 (1:50pm CT): Maybe this will become another rolling update piece … Peter Gammons (noted Boston connections, cough) reports that not only is Jed Hoyer headed to Arizona today, but so is Theo Epstein. Gammons says the two men are going to speak with Soriano about a possible deal, and that, eventually, a deal with the Yankees is likely. There’s still a “ways to go.” If both Hoyer and Epstein are going to the lengths to head to Arizona so they can meet with Soriano face to face, you can book it that they’ll be having a serious conversation. That does not necessarily mean they are seeking his approval on a specific trade. It could mean that the conversations with the Yankees – or other teams – have reached such a level that finding out where Soriano is willing to go is now necessary. That’s a conversation you want to have face-to-face, especially if you feel like the trade will be important for the future of the organization.

UPDATE 3 (2:25pm CT): Phil Rogers makes a very good point: because the Cubs had some difficulties last year navigating Ryan Dempster’s 10-5 no-trade rights, they don’t want to have that same issue this year. What exactly happened with Dempster varies depending on whom you ask, but we can be sure that the process probably helps Epstein and Hoyer this time around. Unless there’s a specific deal for Soriano to approve today when they meet with him – and indications from Hoyer are that a deal hasn’t reached that stage – the front office will make certain to find out exactly which teams Soriano would accept a trade to (or which teams the Cubs need to ask him about on a case-by-case basis), and under exactly what circumstances he’d accept a trade. They’re going to know what’s what before they actually finalize a deal.

UPDATE 4 (3:37pm CT): Nick Cafardo’s sources tell him a Yanks/Cubs deal on Soriano is just 50-50.  Other teams remain involved, even if the Yankees are the favorite.

  • RizzoCastro

    Cubs needs… Starting Pitching, Relief Pitching, 3B, a long term Catcher, and a Closer. They have many 3,4,5 guys for the rotation. Shark in my mind is a true number 1. The Cubs need to extend him. I would love to see them get a LHP (Price) in a trade then you would have #1 Shark & #2 Price. I think Olt can be the long term 3B the Cubs are looking for. He is ready for MLB and the Ranger didn’t have a spot for him. With the Cubs he can feel like he is the guy and we can see what he can do in August and Sept. I think Soriano will bring back more than one player in a trade no matter which team he is traded too. I would love to se a deal with the Rays since they have a ton of Pitching to trade in the minors.

    • Smackafilieyo

      Price is a free agent next year? Right?

      • RizzoCastro

        I don’t think so. We will have to trade for him.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        Kershaw is tho.

        • Smackafilieyo

          Sign me up for him!!!

        • On The Farm

          “Good Luck”

        • Cubsfan2436

          There is no way We sign kershaw…

          • Smackafilieyo

            I know he’ll sign for. $200 million plus from the dodgers….but a boy can dream

          • Cubsfan2436

            Chances he reaches free agency is slim to none and i don’t wanna be the one to get into a bidding war for him. $200mil+? No thanks

            • X the Cubs Fan

              Maybe he doesn’t want to re-sign with the Dodgers.

    • Corey

      Only way Olt sees 3rd in August or September is if we sell Valbuena and Ransom. He has to prove he’s back from that eye injury first.

      • On The Farm

        Well he will probably get a good look in Sepetember no matter what considering he is on the 40 man and MiLB season will be over.

        • Corey

          IF there’s room, sure. Kind of like RIzzo two years ago.

          • ssckelley

            There will be room, I am 99% sure we will see Olt in September. He is the future at 3rd base not Valbuena or Ransom.

    • josh ruiter

      In any world that isn’t this one’s antithesis, Price is a #1 and Shark is #2, don’t be dillusional. Thus far Shark is a good 3 at best. Each of Feldman, Garza, Wood, and even Villanueva have pitched as good or better on the year.

      • Eric

        Yeah I’d have to agree. Shark’s ceiling is a good #2 and he hasn’t reached that yet.

      • DarthHater

        dillusional – adj. Pertaining to an illusion performed with the aid of a dildo.

  • cub2014

    Brett ,
    I know it is only 4 games but has any Cubs rookie had a
    better 4 game debut?

    • BT

      he wasn’t technically a rookie, but Tuffy Rhodes has a nice debut.

    • turn two

      This is ridiculous

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Andy Pafko’s first four games back in 1943: .643/.667/.786.

      Hell, his first nine games: .463/.500/.537.

  • Justin

    I find it weird that at this point Theo and Jed still don’t know where Soriano would actually accept a deal too. I realize that the front office may not want to admit it to the other players, but Sori was on his way out by the deadline this yr (if he approves a deal which he says he would). Why not know exactly where he’ll go before you negotiate with other teams? Why not know exactly where he’ll go way before a week before the trade deadline? My guess is he is only willing to go the Yankees or the Dodgers.
    #NTC’sblow #10/5rightsblowtoo

    • Cyranojoe

      #PersonalRightsBlow #ScrewUnions #WhyShouldPlayersGetToHaveAnySayWhereTheyPlay? #YourBossJustTradedYouToSaudiArabia,GoodLuck

    • Jim L.

      #bringbackthereserveclause

  • jeff1969

    Brett – Do you think a return from the Yankees of Betances & David Adams would be enough, with the Cubs paying Soriano’s salary for next year?

  • Ballgame

    Few quick things. After the Garza hoopla, we gets ourselves all riled up again the day after. We’re anxious to talk about the next trade, but that’s a good thing. I think in general, we’re not looking at this as “Oh, this is fun to make trades”, but “Man, the farm system is becoming seriously legit and I’m excited to see what other possible pieces can be added”. Without confidence in the FO, I don’t know if there’s as much enthusiasm as there has been. Now, we’re having conversations along the lines of “where are all of these guys gonna fit”? Great stuff!

    Also, how classy are Theo/Jed? Although not everyone has agreed with every decision, they’ve been upfront with fans since Day 1 and they seemingly treat the players the same way, with respect. Theo/Jed flying out to AZ for a conversation with Sori, that shows true class/respect for Soriano. Regardless of who gets traded, I have confidence that this FO will bring back as much as they can! Anxious to see updated Prospect lists after the trade deadline…

    • dhard67

      +1

      I am cheering the FO more than the actual team these days

    • itzscott

      >> Without confidence in the FO, I don’t know if there’s as much enthusiasm as there has been. <<

      The thing is that this FO actually has a plan and is sticking to it as opposed to their predecessors who had none and kept throwing crap against a wall to see what would stick.

    • Ivy Walls

      no doubt this is a first rate overhaul. Everyone knows their role, status and position in the overhaul. They keep adding to the inventory of talent and competition. They righted the acute problem of the bullpen and they did. The bullpen is now steady and performing. They have added small pieces to the OF.

      They made the big high profile trade and now working on the next big move Soriano. The other moves, Gregg, Ransom are easy calls.

      The other are smart moves if afforded an opportunity. They could be saved for next year or over the winter.

    • Cheryl

      Soriano should appreciate this. He’s being asked, not ignored, in regard to his feelings. This FO is treating hi as they should. Even if he should not agree to the trade, and it looks like there is a legitimate possibility of one, he’s being informed. This will not only have a positive effect with Soriano but with his teammates and players who are outside the cubs organization as well. Good Job FO!

    • Spriggs

      I’m kind of skeptical that Jed and Theo are flying out here with the sole intentions of talking to Soriano. I know that a bunch of the Cubs brass rolled into town yesterday and Sunday. Crane Kenney, Mark McGuire and other business operations people were all at the AZ Cubs game at Hohomkam yesterday. A tour of the spring training facility was supposed to occur today. Sveum, the coaches and some of the players were supposed to be included. I also heard that more front office folks would be there too. It’s possible they planned on being in AZ regardless…

      • turn two

        This is well thought

  • YourResidentJag

    Anyone see tweet from Gammons that Theo is going to AZ to meet with Sori about possible trade.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      See above, update 2.

      • YourResidentJag

        Yep saw after I posted. Thought you prob had it.

  • JM

    Something all Cubs fans should consider and prepare for… once the first class of true prospects hits the big leagues, there will very likely be lots of turnover from year to year. The ramifications of this is having to say goodbye to players we love. Gone will be the days of players being lifelong Cubs, our favorites being moved for the betterment of the team. The upside of this potentially being a championship.

    • On The Farm

      Except the really good ones you can build a team around. Like giving Castro and Rizzo 7 year deals, it may not be a lifetime of being a Cub, but these guys will be 29(30?) when their contracts run up. If they truly are a peice to build on they will make sure they stay around. Wasn’t Theo apart of the extension that kept Pedroia around until his current contract runs up?

  • Bsteady

    Didn’t Tuffy hit 3 bombs on opening day off Doc Gooden for his debut?

    • WNebCub

      Three bombs…i was there. a couple interesting tidbits from that one…the mets hit back to back shots at one point and the same dude in the rf bleachers caught both balls (mets fan). he was on letterman the next night.

      Also afterwards my mom and i went to Harry’s restaurant and right when we walked in we saw him, on a pay phone, in his own joint. bookie maybe? lol

  • Aaron

    Jim Hendry’s no-trade clauses along with hefty players salaries are nearly flushed out of the Cubs’ system. While I do like Soriano as a person and player, I would like to see him go to a club that will give us a decent return of young talent. I hope a deal with the Yankees happens, which unfortunately will mainly be dependent on Soriano agreeing to it. Thanks Mr. Hendry.

    • On The Farm

      He had 10-5 rights by now anyway..

      • BT

        Just like virtually everyone else that people blame Hendry for giving NTC’s to.

        • Pat

          Yes, but 10 and 5 rights do not transfer to the new team with a trade, the no trade clauses do. That does lower the value to the team they are being traded to. You can’t just keep them for a playoff run and easily trade them over the offseason.

  • Jp3

    Here we go, if all the big boys are going out I think it’s pretty telling they probably have a few offers at this point and they are going to find out which destinations he prefers. The big boys don’t get on the plane to ask him which teams he’ll play for arbitrarily, they have something solid In my opinion.

  • Rich

    stop blaming Hendry…he did what he felt was best..plus many things he did was based on what he was told to do to increase value of the Cubs for the sale..

    if you could do better…there are 30 GM positions, go for it!

    • cubs2003

      I agree. Hendry was a decent GM who was put in a pretty difficult position. He’s taken all the heat for some moves that weren’t really even his call. Let’s move on from the Hendry hate and think about how good our farm system will be after the deadline.

    • mush

      His drafting of Hayden Simpson and his NTC’s were his downfall. He fell in love with guys and overvalued them to a fault. Yes, he did good things but it was a blessing for Ricketts to fire him.

      • Cubsfan2436

        I don’t blame Henry for the Hayden Simpson pick completely. He had huge pressure from Sam zell to sign someone cheap, instead of taking the best player on the board

        • Cubsfan2436

          Hendry*

  • Ivy Walls

    Road map to the next eight days of pre-waiver wire trading.

    Soriano (priority opportunity)
    Gregg (obvious opportunity)
    Navarro (team specific but who replaces him?)

    overpay opportunity
    Valbuena
    Ransom
    Schierholtz
    DeJesus
    Barney
    Russell
    Olt(?)

    Let us unload (remove from 40 man)
    B Jackson
    Vitters
    McNutt
    Szcsur

    • Smackafilieyo

      I like McNutt.. I can see them trading Soriano, Greg, and maybe 2 – 3 bench players like ransom, Barney, and schierholtz

      • On The Farm

        McNutt seems like he walks a lot of people. It’s just too bad that he completely fell apart

        • Ivy Walls

          MCNutt is a player chosen by the flawed analysis of a previous regime. Not that all are flawed, Lake is a good example, Samardzija is another but they were over paid for their slot. Vitters and B Jackson as is Szczur, all nice prospects/projects but as cornerstone future choices only results tell the story.

          When a number 1 does not pan out, move on. The thing is they are all taking up 40 man spots.

          • ssckelley

            The Cubs might have to overhaul their 40 man roster in the off season in order to protect some of this talent they have accumulated.

            • nkniacc13

              most of the talent that they have acquired are all ready on the 40 man or wont needed to be added this offseason

  • CubsFaninMS

    Is it just me or is it hard to get too excited about the prospects in the Yankees organization? I’m afraid they’re too thin on high-upside prospects to offer a good return for Soriano.

    • Mick

      Possibly the greatest thing the Cubs could receive from the Yankees is their international pool money.

  • Cubbiecop

    I am not seeing too much in the Yankees top twenty that blows me away here. It’s a bit older rescource (nov 2012) but it gives a good baseline.

    http://www.minorleaguerundown.com/2012/11/21/2013-new-york-yankees-top-20-prospects/

    If we are going to eat a ton of salary, I think that we should at least get two out of the top 20 if not a fringe prospect as well. Soriano may not be the 40-40 guy we signed originally but he still has good value, has been tearing it up as of late and had a very good year last year as well, His defense is also WAY better. I’m sure the FO will squeeze whatever is possible out of NY if a deal is done. They did it to the Rangers! :)

  • Jon

    Here is an updated tweet from Peter Gammons

    Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 1h
    jadflkjaklladkcjlkaelk3dckldlk

    Interesting, indeed.

    • Carew

      Does this mean the deal is close

    • On The Farm

      At least his facts are in order on this tweet

    • Jp3

      Nice to see your typing skills aren’t regressing in your old age…who are we kidding, he doesn’t actually update his twitter page, that means a subordinate of his has some explaining to do.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Is this one of those “tea leaves” that Brett talks about?

  • Jp3

    Off subject and I’m sure I missed it but will Olt start for Iowa tonight? Hell while I’m at it Keis Bryant make it to Boise yet?

    • Jp3

      *Kris

      • Jon

        Hopefully, if he doesn’t crash on this awful plane they put him on

        https://twitter.com/KrisBryant_23/status/359740934839218176/photo/1

        • Jp3

          Hey looks like they were just trying to match his hideously ugly USD jersey.

        • fresno cub fan

          Hey, I have flown those United Express turboprops many times…they don’t crash that often!

      • On The Farm

        I believe they said Olt will get the starts at 3B (Vitters moving to 1B/LF) and Bryant is on his way to Bosie yes.

    • Jp3

      Never mind, found it on a Bouse sight they say he’s playing tonight. Go Hawks

      • Corey

        Know any places to watch online?

  • Jon

    Jim Hendry, did have an “appetite” though for NTC’s, thought as pointed out, this is 10&5 and not his fault.

  • figgelbert

    Brett,
    Nice job breaking down the Soriano info.
    I think i respect the Theo/Jed front office combo more and more.
    I think it shows some class that they are flying out to talk with Soriano.(instead of a phone call)
    It allows them to show respect to a player,which others will see.
    And it will make sure no last minute changes of the mind come into play.
    I think things like this are noticed by the players on the team and on other teams.

    And maybe,hopefully talk some trade to Arizona in person.
    Maybe visit Arizona facility in person too.

    I just think these guys are masters of attention to detail

  • mush

    What is the motivation to trade Soriano and eat $18M unless you get a top prospect? He is not holding anyone back and seems to be a good mentor to young players. Tell me what I am missing about the guy.

    • sossa

      Why keep him around if a team is willing to eat the rest of the salary? For example the yankees. Better to unload now when his stock is high then to keep him for the last year of his contract where he could potentially slump.

  • sossa

    They need to throw in the dice add moving pieces and obtain another top 20, possibly top 10 position player type prospect or potential starter for the future. We are so close to being so solid but we need just a couple more key additions and a ace from being a contender in 2015 and beyond.

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    You send him to a contender and show him the respect he’s earned by being a good soldier. You also acquire an asset that may be useful in 3-4 years when you hope to compete and he is long gone.

    • Eternal Pessemist

      You send him wherever he will let you where the Cubs get the best deal. I like Soriano too, but he got more than enough with his overpaid career that I would love to see him do something extra for the Cubs…including accepting a trade to a team that might not be his preference. By contract he doesn’t owe that to the Cubs/Cubs fans, but he sure got paid better than his performance over the years.

  • rbreeze

    I agree. This is about respecting Soriano and putting him in a comfortable situation. And its about the Cubs collecting more poker chips to help the Cubs long term. We are witnessing the deconstruction and the reconstruction of this franchise. This is exciting stuff. I love the way Jed and Theo are handling this whole thing.

  • mush

    The issue I have is the report is the Yankees cannot absorb any more salary because of luxury tax. The Cubs would have to pay his $19m for next year. I don’t want them just to take a mid level guy who may or may not be a prospect and have to pay salary. I guess I should have been more clear. I am all in favor of moving him for the right price.

  • Cubsfan2436

    Sounds like we won’t get anything better then fringy 40 man roster guy or middle reliever for for soriano. Kind of a bummer

    • Cubsfan2436

      Joel sherman tweet: #Cubs scout watched Chase Whitley over weekend, #Yankees deep in yng/inexpensive setup Kelly/Claiborne in MLB Burawa/Betances/Kahnle close

      • Cubsfan2436

        Dillan bestance I’d love for soriano. Lot of upside

        • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

          I like that idea. I was just looking at their farm system (weaaak) and saw him on the list. I’d take him in a return for Sori. He has a big time fast ball but scary control. Get him to work on his command a bit and just one of his breaking pitchers and you might a nice bullpen piece for a long time.

    • Scott

      If the cubs only get a “fringy” type player, then why move him?

      • Scott

        I would think that 19 mil would get you more than that.

        • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

          Soriano still isn’t a premier hitter either. The guy barely hits .250 and has no onbase skills. When he isn’t hitting home runs he hurts the lineup. His defense has always been below par as well. I’d rather see Junior Lake or a guy like Sweeney in LF

          • Drew7

            “Soriano still isn’t a premier hitter either.”

            This isn’t 2001 – power is a scarce commodity, and Soriano still has plenty of it.

            “His defense has always been below par as well”

            This is just false.

  • TonyP

    There are so many articles that I have to hunt down the Series Preview for the series that started yesterday!!! #lotsofnews #lovethissite

  • Kevin

    If all we can get trading Sori is crap then what is the real pressure to pack his bags? On top of that the Cubs pay his $19M salary for next year? I’m all about rebuilding but this just sounds strange.

    • Scott

      Agreed

    • cubs2003

      Agreed as well. If you’re not getting significant salary relief or a good prospect and he’s not blocking anybody I don’t see the point. Maybe the FO is doing him a favor to let him play out the rest of his career on a contender. If he’s as good of a clubhouse guy as is reported I would think that’s worth something to a young team. Maybe they’re looking to acquire a replacement in LF. I don’t know.

  • Adam

    I wonder how an A-Rod ban would impact this deal. Not as much because the Yankees were counting on his production, but because then A-Rod comes off their books.

    • Pat

      The Yankees won’t be able to count on that money coming off the books for next year. If they try to void his contract you can guarantee it will end up in court.

  • nkniacc13

    going to be interesting to see what the cubs do with Soriano. They don’t have a legit RH power hitter to replace him. they don’t have any minor leaguers knocking on the door for playing time ( unless you count lake and I don’t).

  • Ctoyo

    I agree with many of you, it just seems like a bad move to pay the Yankees to take soriano and get a bullpen arm as opposed to a starter who worst case scenario ends up a bullpen guy. So far what we’ve come to know from the FO it just seems odd. On a diffrent note, if this goes thru tonight garza might be pitching to Sori tomorrow.

  • nkniacc13

    we still get 2 PTBN from yanks right?

    • Scott

      Correct. 1 for lilibridge and 1 for alberto gonzales

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