- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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NEW YORK -- Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner ordered general manager Brian Cashman to finalize the Alfonso Soriano trade, despite the fact Cashman wanted to be more patient in his negotiations with the Chicago Cubs.
"I didn't want to give up [Single-A pitcher] Corey Black, but I didn't nix the Soriano deal," Cashman told ESPN New York on Sunday. "I did not want to do Corey Black. We had been negotiating with the Cubs for a long time. They wanted something more a week earlier and ownership, obviously, in our discussions [felt] we needed to do something.
"They were like, 'Hey, we are not going to wait anymore to negotiate, we have to get this done now.'"
The New York Post reported Cashman did not want to do the deal. In the past, Cashman has publicly disagreed with moves the Yankees have made. Prior and after to the Yankees' signing of reliever Rafael Soriano in 2011, Cashman said he did not want to make the deal.
In 2007, Cashman said that if Alex Rodriguez opted-out -- which he did -- the Yankees should let him go. Both times, ownership overruled its GM.
This time was different, Cashman said, because he wanted Alfonso Soriano but hoped to drive the Cubs' asking price down.
"[It's] unlike the Rafael Soriano [signing] where you publicly say something beforehand," Cashman said. "Unlike Alex Rodriguez's contract extension where I was public beforehand. This is not something I'm public beforehand or after the fact.
"We need offense. He makes us better. I've said that all that. I didn't want to give up good arm, but I know we have to do something to get this guy back and my ownership, every step of the process, they said, 'We can't wait any longer. We have a chance to get it now. We have to get it now.' That was it."
The Cubs will pick up nearly $18 million remaining on Soriano's contract through 2014. The Yankees will pay almost $7 million.
Black, 21, is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound righty. For Single-A Tampa, he was 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA. With a 95 mph fastball, some scouts think he is most likely going to be a setup man if he ever makes the majors, while some think he could be a starter if he can develop a changeup.
With the Yankees' offense struggling, the 37-year-old Soriano was brought in for power. With the Cubs, he hit .254 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs in 93 games. He is 0-for-8 with an RBI in his first two games back with the Yankees.