ESPN Report – Piniella Expects the Cubs to go “hard” after Alex Rodriguez
Updated – 6:27am CT – Soriano and Schmidt On List Along with Carlos Lee
According to a late/early report on ESPN.com by Gene Wojciechowski, Lou Piniella’s presence is already being felt in Chicago before the official announcement is even made. Wojciechowski states in his report that Piniella wants to acquire Alex Rodriguez from the New York Yankees. A-Rod has received a lot of trade talk since the Tigers swept the Yankees out of the first round of the playoffs. There have been several reports of an unhappy clubhouse and a riff between Derek Jeter and A-Rod. Since the rumors of Piniella coming to the Cubs surfaced, the rumors of A-Rod being reunited with his former skipper have been mentioned in several New York and Chicago papers.
A couple of reports over the weekend mentioned the possibility of the Cubs signing Aramis Ramirez and then trading him to the Yankees for A-Rod in a 2 player deal, others have mentioned it would require more than that to pry the $252 million dollar man from the Yankees. Rodriguez is owed $66 million from the Yankees over the last 4 years of the deal that A-Rod signed with the Texas Rangers 6 years ago, the Rangers will pickup the remaining balance owed on the contract, $29 million. A-Rod does have a no-trade clause in his contract but Wojciechowski is speculating that he would waive the no-trade clause to be reunited with Piniella.
ESPN TV has picked up this report as well, could this actually have legs? Only time will tell.
Update – According to a report by Chris De Luca in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs are making Alfonso Soriano their “prime target” for building a team for Piniella and will attempt to put him in centerfield. The report goes on to mention Carlos Lee and Jason Schmidt being on their winter wish list and states that Juan Pierre is “not expected to return”.