Sunday, February 24, 2013
Soriano would consider trade to Yankees
By Bruce Levine
MESA, Ariz. -- When the New York Yankees lost Curtis Granderson for 10 weeks with a broken wrist on Sunday, the baseball Twitter world went viral about the possibility of Alfonso Soriano returning to the first major league team he played for 13 years ago.
Alfonso Soriano continues to be the subject of trade speculation.
But it remains a remote possibility that the Chicago Cubs outfielder would be considered by the Yankees and, for his part, Soriano was unsure how he would react if they tried to obtain him.
“I don’t know if it happened today (if I would go),” Soriano said after Sunday’s game. “I don’t know (if) they are going to call or not. If they call for me, I would have to think about it. I am 37 years old so I have to think about what is good for me and the (Cubs).”
Last season Soriano told the Cubs that he would consider a trade to a team in the Midwest or on the East coast. The veteran outfielder has 10-and-5 veto power, allowing him to say no to any proposed trade. In July 2012 Soriano did use his no-trade rights to void a deal that would have sent him to the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants.
The Yankees have very few resources to offer the Cubs in return for the outfielder. The primary goal of Yankees ownership appears to be avoiding a large tax and possible loss of players in penalties if they exceed $189 million in payroll beginning in 2014. The Yankees also have little to offer in the way of minor league pitching talent. The Cubs would be looking for young players in return for their productive run producer.
Another factor that would seem to indicate a non-move by the Yankees is that Granderson could be back as early as mid-May. That would further convolute the offensive mix in New York.
But if the Yankees did make a bid, Soriano may have a difficult time saying no.
“(Derek) Jeter and Mariano (Rivera) are my heroes,” Soriano said Sunday. “I saw how they play the game and how they love to win. I was happy I started my career close to those guys.”
Soriano has $36 million remaining over the last two seasons of his original eight-year, $136 million deal that he signed in November 2006. He had his best overall power season in 2012, hitting 32 home runs while driving in a career-high 108 runs, third-most in the National League.
Soriano would love to stay with the Cubs and help them win a championship, but as he said, time is not on his side and the Cubs seem some years away from World Series contention.
“I don’t want to think about being traded,” he said. “I just want to play here and make the playoffs and go to the World Series with this team. I want to feel good, but my dream is winning here.”