- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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As the trading deadline approaches, conversations between teams start to take on a more serious tone as offers and counter-offers begin to be more substantial.
In the case of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, teams have shown some interest over the past two weeks, although he has not been approached about a trade. A number of teams, including the Dodgers and Giants, have made inquiries about the outfielder and the parameters of how much of the $44 million remaining on his contract the Cubs would pay, according to major league sources.
Because he's been in the majors for 10 years, including five with the same team, Soriano has veto rights on any pending transaction, and at this point has not been contacted by Cubs officials.
"I really don't have control over that situation, so I answer the questions and try to ignore it and do my work every day," Soriano said. "A lot of guys' names come up, but that doesn't mean they will be traded."
"It is hard on players to keep their concentration when you hear your name in trade rumors," Soriano said. "You try and take one day at a time, but it is difficult."
The past experience of having been traded twice in a two-year period is disconcerting for the Cubs aging superstar as he hears his name mentioned once again.
"Personally, I don't like hearing my name in trade rumors, because if you go somewhere in a trade you have to make new friends and get used to new teammates and a new city," he said. "I don't like to hear it but it is something we cannot control."
The assumption is if the Cubs do trade Soriano they would pay a majority of the remaining contract still owed, depending on the talent they receive in return.
On the player's side, he also has some needs that must be met.
"It will have to be a good city with a good team," he said. "I would give the team the opportunity to trade me, but as I said the team and city would have to be good. Nobody has come to me about a trade yet, so we have two or three days left. We will just wait and see what happens."