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Saturday, July 6, 2013
Soriano's trade value increasing

By Bruce Levine

A sudden hot streak by Alfonso Soriano might have increased the value of his services to major league teams looking for offensive help.

Soriano’s bat began heating up on the Cubs recently concluded trip to Seattle and Oakland. The 37-year-old veteran has five home runs and 13 RBIs in his past eight games. Soriano drove in all of his team's runs on Saturday, which didn’t shock manager Dale Sveum.

"It was the Sori Show today, but, then again, it has been the last 10 or so days," Sveum said. "This is about the time he took off last year.”

Soriano, who had a slow start to the 2012 season, ended up hitting 32 home runs and driving in 104 runs mostly after May 15 of the past season; all of his home runs came after May 15, 2012. A notorious streak hitter, the four-time All-Star might be just the run producer an offense-starved contender might trade for before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

"I don’t think about a trade," Soriano said after hitting a pair of two-run home runs in the Cubs' 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh. "I just want to come to the ballpark and play my game. If there is something on the table, they will let me know about it."

Soriano was once thought to be untradeable with a season and a half left on an eight-year, $136 million contract. That theory was erased when San Francisco and the Cubs had a deal in place last August. The outfielder said no to the trade, invoking his 10-5 veto rights. This time around, with $26 million left on the contract, the affable Dominican slugger might say yes. If he had said yes to the Giants a season ago, a World Series ring would be a part of his baseball hardware collection.

He now has to contemplate becoming a full-time DH if an American League team shows interest. "It is very hard for me to think about being a DH,” he said "My whole career I have played in the field. I am 37, but I feel younger. I have proved to myself and everybody that my defense has gotten better. I have to start thinking about DH.”

According to a major league source, the Cubs would assume most of the remaining contract if some club comes calling for Soriano’s services this month.