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soriano outfield fansA trade sending Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees isn’t official just yet, but Soriano has already headed to New York, taking a red eye flight overnight. The deal, which will save the Cubs a little cash, will net the Cubs a low-level pitching prospect, and will give Soriano a chance at a ring, is expected to be announced later today.

Before he left last night, Soriano addressed his teammates and the media one last time, and, by all accounts, it was very emotional. Soriano has been with the Cubs since 2007, and was the longest-tenured Cub by far. That means, when every single player on the team started his time with the Cubs, Soriano was there.

“After the game we got everybody together to say our good-byes,” Dale Sveum said, per ESPNChicago. “It was emotional for all of us. You don’t usually gather teams together that often when people get traded to say your goodbyes. That just shows you the kind of person he is.”

Soriano said he’s remember Cubs fans fondly, which is comforting, given how he was sometimes treated.

“I understand in baseball, always it’s not a good moment,” Soriano said, per Cubs.com. “Sometimes you have a bad moment and the fans will boo you. I’m not perfect, I can’t have 162 perfect games. I always say, if I have a bad week, I hope I have a good month …. Sometimes I can struggle for two or three or four games, but I know in one week, I can be good and the fans, they want to love me.”

Soriano left with some words of advice – good ones.

“I’ve always said the money is not the issue,” Soriano said, per Cubs.com. “Money makes you happy, you can buy anything with money, but the more important thing is you have to be a human. I love the game. I got that kind of money because the game gave it to me. I love the game, I respect the game, I love what I do. I always said to myself, don’t worry about the money, just play hard. If the money doesn’t come, I’ll be happy anyway.”

Soriano will force me to do something this year I never thought I’d do: cheer for the Yankees.

More on Soriano and the trade, after it is officially announced.

  • Cheese Chad

    So long Sori, you will be missed. I was hoping somehow the pirates got involved. I’d rather cheer for them.

    • Delusional Cubs Fan

      That would have been great! I would definitely be cheering for the Pirates if they had Sori. He’d also have a better chance at a ring too.

  • Joe

    Good for Alfonso. I wish he were going to a team that had a better chance at the Series, but who knows.

    You can tell he was a classy guy and great teammate all along(unlike Garza.)

    • MichiganGoat

      “You can tell he was a classy guy and great teammate all along(unlike Garza.)”

      What?

      • MichiganGoat

        The Garza part

        • baldtaxguy

          I have been hearing this on more than one occasion the last couple of weeks about Garza alledgedly being a poor teammate from a couple of sports radio personalities here in Chi. Friends of mine who are Cub fans have also been perpetuating this (with no knowledge, just repeating what they heard on the radio). It does not compute for me given everyone commenting on Garza on the record saying exactly the opposite, that he is a great teammate. We’ll never know (likely), and I suspect this is sports radio drama and I an not buying what they are selling at all.

          • Joe

            I heard it from a bald guy actually. A realllllly bald guy. He doesn’t do taxes, but he would be a source formerly close to the situation.

            • baldtaxguy

              Well, opinions are like belly buttons….I’m sure not everyone likes Garza, same as anyone. Good drama, otherwise…meh

          • MichiganGoat

            I think Garza’s hyper-activity is being flipped from a positive to a negative by some people who need something dramatic to say to get attention.

          • TSB

            Some teammate says something like “sometimes he gets on my nerves, he is so excitable.” Immediately this is turned into something like “teammates hate his guts and he is a disruption to the entire organization.” Reporting facts is too boring to some in the media, so to get readers/listeners/viewers, they have to juice it up.

            • MichiganGoat

              Yeah that’s the ESPN model of sports journalism. The “he gets on my nerves” I read as a humorous compliment, like complaining about the guy that is always at work before everybody and is always happy- “Man his energy gets on my nerves… ;)… but he is an amazing co-worker… he just so full of energy… geez”

  • Tommy

    “Soriano will force me to do something this year I never thought I’d do: cheer for the Yankees.”

    Agreed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Same here.

      • Internet Random

        Me three. What the hell has become of me?

        • Internet Random

          Four?

          • Eternal Pessimist

            I will not be rooting for the Yankees…EVER. And I hope they choke on the A-Roid contract (but I hope the Yankees failures occur despite good performance from Sori)

    • josh ruiter

      I for one will not be cheering for the yankees now or ever. I am cheering for Sori, but not the yankees. In a perfect world I guess they play the Cards(which sounds even more strange) so I can cheer for the Yanks in the Series. I hope Sori goes bananas with the stick for the Yanks, but I still can’t cheer for them. It is like when Pippen went to the Rockets, Jordan to the Wizards, I still loved those fellas but not a chance I was gonna cheer for those teams!

  • Fishin Phil

    I haz sadz. :(

  • Cubfan Budman

    I’m also gonna cheer for the evil empire just for sori. At the same time I hope they gave us a closer of our future! Also on a side note is McCann a free agent next year because in my mind he would be a huge get for a young team …..thoughts

    • THEOlogical

      McCann has a team ( player?) option for next yr. Although it’s been reported the Braves are shopping him around this yr. With Gattis becoming a star in Atlanta. He will command some major money, and I just don’t see the Cubs being interested. I’d love to have him but we all know the Cubs plan and right now, trading for a legit catcher isn’t one of them.

    • cubmig

      Me too. I will cheer for Soriano. I owe him mucho more cheers than I can say. I booed him when he’d misplay a ball, swing at pitches a flag pole could only reach and dogging-it on the bases……I am guilty as charged. But he changed and he’s not “that” guy anymore. He’s become a class-act and a leader for the team. Plus… I continually am impressed by how he’s kept himself in such tip-top shape (remember the leg or knee problem?) through conditioning. I think he even shows-up some of the younger players in his play. And lets not forget his arm. Runners thought twice when they lusted for an extra base on hits headed toward him.

      I wish I knew more about on he is off the field. I can only infer on that from what he, or others, say. But, he strikes me as a very disciplined person with priorities to keep him mentally grounded and physically sound. In this game a lot is said about talent. Soriano had it and more. He has humility and character that understands fan expectations. It’s what’s makes him resilient as a human being who is a professional.

      Good luck Alfonso. You will be missed.

  • CubFanBob

    When we look back years from now I feel this will move will be seen as a the bottom turning point in the rebuild. Just like past cubbies will miss the excitement he bought to the North side.

    Great thing about this game is as one baseball hero walks out the door another eventually fills the void.

  • Edward Gomez

    Although at times he was scrutinize, I think he carried himself as a true professional. I agree with you Brett, going to have to root for the Yankees. I just hope he sticks around long enough in the league to have one last chance to come through Wrigley Field so we can show our appreciation . Thanks Sori for the many years of dedication and service to our Cubs organization. All the best Fonsi and Good Luck! Once a Cub, always a Cub.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The light bulb moment with Soriano for me was when he said that he was never defensively coached until last season (when we started to see improvement). That being said, with a minimum of 250 PA, he’s still 21st in wOBA for LFers.

    • Fishin Phil

      I have great respect for the amount of effort that he put into improving his defense at an advanced stage of his career. I will admit to getting on him back in the days of his “hop” and his unearthly fear of the wall, but over the last couple of years he has transformed himself into an acceptable left fielder. He truly was the old dog that learned a new trick.

      • cas-castro

        I heard on ESPN (gasp!) Tim Kirkjuin (sp) talking about the soriano trade and he referred to Soriano’s defense as sub par or below average. I know he can still play average defense and probably needs to DH more but I wouldnt call his defense below average. Maybe 2 years ago. Thats what I get for casually watching that drivel…

  • MichiganGoat

    Nicely said Sori you will be missed

  • TonyS

    I appreciate the fact Sori didnt rest on his laurels like so many mega contract players do these days. After a couple of ordinary years he worked to improve his fielding and succeeded. Thats all i ask of the players regardless of their contract. Keep working to improve.
    Now I need the trade to be announced before southern hemisphere bedtime (2-3 hrs) so I know whether to ark up about the return.

  • Kramden

    I wish that I could be as maudlin about Soriano as the rest of you, but in all honesty I would’ve driven him to the airport and made certain that he got on that plane.

    • MichiganGoat

      I understand where this is coming from but outside of the contract Sori performed quite well for his age and over the course of his contract he performed better than many other- see ARod, Pujols, Hamilton.

  • MichiganGoat

    Now we wait to here what the return looks like. I’m hoping we save about 8-10M if all we are getting is a low tier prospect but I think both Sori and the Cubs realized it was time to move on and this was the only option we had if we wanted to move on.

  • curt

    I think it’s kind of sad to see him go for a little cash and low level prospect unless their clearing a spot for Someone what was the hurry to get rid of him.

    • TonyS

      Agree with this. Hopefully assman is right and we are pleasantly surprised by the return. Not holding much hope for that outcome though.

      • Jp3

        Yeah I would assume we’d hear the name of the pitching prospect today right?

        • MichiganGoat

          Yes we will, just awaiting Emperor Bud to sign on the cash part.

    • baldtaxguy

      There is a guy named Lake that is quickly earning more at-bats in Chicago based on a very good start (something about the most hits starting a career in franchise history since the year 1900, or something like that). While Lake may end up the season batting .220, I can’t argue with the thinking that he plays out the remainder of the season with the club, and plays regularly.

      Otherwise, yes, he could have been moved next month under waiver process, or next season, or not at all. But if you can get an A level prospect, vs. not, and some cash relief, I think you “hurry” and take a advantage of it.

  • baldtaxguy

    Mr. Soriano is a very class act and I will root for him and his new team all season and the next. I enjoyed watching him play (once I understood (and expected) his offensive streakiness) and give credit to him for being a very good example for his teammates. Good luck to him.

  • Korean goat

    Jalgayo Soriano, I will miss you

  • Jason

    There’s 3 teams that I could never cheer for. White Sox, Cardinals and the Yankees. So really I don’t care what player gets traded from the Cubs. If they go to those teams good luck, but you won’t see my ass rooting for them. Next in line Gregg. My guess a package deal with him and an OF to the Pirates.

  • miggy80

    Soriano will always have a place in my heart. He hit two blast in the one and only Cubs game I got to see with my dad.

    Best of wishes Sori

  • Katie

    Good luck Soriano! Great teammate but you made me gnash my teeth a whole lot when you were down 0-2 and swung at everything wildly. :)

    Truly a class act. Time to turn the page and push forward.

  • Toddleevon

    Any idea who will get called up to take Sori’s place on roster ? I wish you well Sori.

    • MichiganGoat

      I think that Vitters was being considered but he had a strange injury last night and I haven’t heard anything about the severity. We might also consider bringing up another reliever and we have a couple of OFer on the DL that will eventually return. So it could I honestly have no idea… How’s that for an answer.

      • Toddleevon

        I am kinda hoping its Matt Szczur

    • CubbiesFan12345

      I’mthinking they may go with 24 for 3 days until bogusevic is back otherwise it is likely to be a temporary reliever

  • PRcajun

    Damn…I think we all knew this day was coming….we even blasted him and begged for this in the message boards. All in all, I’ll miss Soriano. He is good for baseball and baseball has been very good to him.

    Myles can you do another creepy song post for Sori like you did for Garza?

  • EricR

    I don’t care what anyone said, I think Sori was great for the Cubs. I’m not convinced this was a move that had to be done, (for the Cubs anyway, maybe it was for Sori) and I hope the Yankees do good things for him.

  • Josh t

    Hard to believe we probably got a better prospect in Scott Hairston trade then we’re going to get in Sori trade that we eat literally almost all of it

  • cubs123

    I try to go to Wrigley couple time’s a year, last year when i went because i wont the Matt Garza caption contest Brett had was the last time i got to see Soriano he homered against Buehrle. Great respect for Soriano i will miss him as a Cub. Here’s a image my wife luckily took right after he hit that ball out.[img]http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a584/juan_villalobos1/CIMG1326_zps625a3435.jpg[/img]

  • cubs123

    Sorry guys try this again and thank’s Brett because of you i got to see Soriano a last time.
    [img]http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a584/juan_villalobos1/333e46b5-f7fa-45f1-bb5d-2d9588155774_zps96726b57.jpg[/img]

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very cool.

  • Die hard

    So sorry to see Sori sayanora … see ya… We hardly knew ya

  • Pingback: Early Rumors on the Soriano Return Sound Pretty Good (UPDATE) | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • curt

    I will definitely root for sori but no chance I’m rooting for the Yankees if the cubs had traded him to the cardinals would you have rooted for them. All the best to sori but hope the Yankees miss the playoffs sorry.

  • Fastball

    Until someone else earns the right to be the new Cub Fathead on my mancave wall Sori will remain that guy. He’s been up there for 5 or 6 years. I wish him all the best. I will follow his new team in hopes he gets a WS ring. Anything is possible. Look at the Giants and Cardinals the past several years.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    i’m getting all choked up , the tears are running down my cheeks,SORRYANO IS GONE!!!!!! (next scene) tell the band to strike up HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN the jim hendry curse is lifted,all the overpaid guaranteed no-trade contract losers are gone. that is a great big muppet show YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SirCub

    End of an era, for sure. Sori has been at the core of the team over the peak years of my fandom. I think that moreso than D. Lee, Kerry Wood, or Big Z, he will be the defining player of that generation of the team, for me personally.

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