According to a tweet from USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale, a deal that would send former Yankee and current Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano back to New York has almost been finalized.
Soriano was scratched from the Cubs lineup before tonight’s game, a usual sign that a player is soon to be on the move. When asked about the move, Chicago manager Dale Sveum indicated that a trade with New York was 99 percent done.
Apparently the only hangup was determining which pitching prospect the Cubs would receive in return. While just what pitching prospect has been agreed upon is unknown at this time, it is believed to be one of a lower-tier. The Cubs will also remain liable for the majority of the money remaining on Soriano’s current contract.
Soriano has one year remaining on the eight-year, $136 million contract he signed back before the start of the 2007 season. He is making $19 million this season, and is set to make another $19 million in 2014.
Soriano is a 10-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, and five with the same club), which vests in him a full no-trade clause. However, yesterday the veteran outfielder confirmed that he would be receptive to rejoining the Yankees. He will still need to formally waive his no-trade clause for the transaction to be consummated.
If a deal is completed between these two clubs, Soriano, 37, will return to the organization with which he first broke into the Major Leagues in 1999. Soriano was a star for the Yankees from 1999-2003 before being shipped off to Texas as part of the trade that brought the now embattled Alex Rodriguez to New York.
In 383 plate appearances for the Cubs this season, Soriano is batting .254/.287/.467 with 17 home runs. He’s aging, but remains a powerful bat that would certainly help where the Yankees are weakest – at the plate. The move will cost New York very little – the Cubs have been in all-out sell mode this summer – and is an obvious fit for both parties.
By lunch tomorrow, Soriano should be heading back to his closet to bust out the pinstripes once again.