Soriano hopes to remain a Cub but open to change

January, 18, 2013
1/18/13
11:05
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano says he would like to finish out the last two years of his contract with the team.

The 37-year-old power hitter is, of course, realistic about his role on a team that is building a young base of players for the future.

"I'm very happy what I have seen so far this year," Soriano said. "We have a better rotation and young guys with more experience. I think we have a chance to win more games and try to make the playoffs."

Soriano is coming off of a surprising season in which he set a personal high in RBIs with 104 (third in the National League) and became a team leader as well. Management praised the sometimes-maligned player last season as an important cog to the team and clubhouse.

That said, the Cubs tried to trade Soriano last July to the San Francisco Giants at the trading deadline. Soriano invoked his 10-and-5 veto rights to kill the deal, costing the Cubs a young player in return and some contract relief from the $44 million still owed him. It also cost Soriano a chance at getting a World Series ring as the Giants went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers for their second title in three seasons.

"I said no to the trade, because the weather in San Francisco is not good for my body," he said. "To me the weather is worse there than it is here (in Chicago)."

Soriano, who played the entire 2012 season with a sore left knee, is still on the trading block. The Cubs have had numerous conversations with teams in need of a veteran RBI man. A major league source recently told ESPN Chicago that the Philadelphia Phillies and Cubs had discussions centering on two young pitchers going to the Cubs for Soriano in November. That deal was killed when the Phillies used some of that talent to acquire Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins.

According to Soriano, Cubs management talked to him at the end of 2012 about what would be in the his and the teams' best interests going forward.

"We had a meeting the last day of the season," Soriano said. "After that I haven't talked to those guys, but we need to talk sooner or later. I am ready to play hard either here or with another team because this is my job and this is what I like to do."

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.287 13 64 54
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 30
RBIA. Rizzo 71
RA. Rizzo 81
OPSA. Rizzo .889
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAT. Wood 4.72
SOJ. Arrieta 135