Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Epstein not ready to give up on Soriano

By ESPNChicago.com

Alfonso Soriano
Theo Epstein is eager to find out exactly what he has in Alfonso Soriano.
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is not ready to give up on left fielder Alfonso Soriano, or at least he's not ready to say so publicly.

"From afar he still brings a lot to the table," Epstein said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He had 26 bombs, and he is still a threat offensively.

"Yeah, there are other areas of the game where he hasn't quite performed up to expectations the last few years. I think it's the good quality of an organization to look at every player and ask how can we get the most out of this guy. And I look at Alfonso and I think there is still more in there."

Soriano has three years and $54 million left on a deal that's been widely viewed as one of Jim Hendry's worst. The contract includes a full no-trade clause.

Soriano's offense helped the Cubs reach the playoffs in 2007 and '08, but his production has declined steadily. And he's considered a defensive liability.

"We obviously know what his ceiling is," Epstein said. "He contributes at all phases of the game and is a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat, that hasn't necessarily been the case. The all-around game hasn't been there.

"I think the question is how do we unlock that, and I'm looking forward to sitting down with people who have seen him play every day and getting with him behind doors to work on that."