Soriano Still in the Rumor Mill and Other Cubs News and Notes

Jed Hoyer discussed the off-season and the state of the Cubs as Spring Training approaches Sunday morning on MLB Network Radio. Hoyer addressed a number of topics, including the status of Alfonso Soriano. Hoyer said that teams had interest in Soriano this winter and they entertained discussions but nothing was ever really that close.

Jed Hoyer told Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden that they are excited to have Soriano play left field and bat fourth for the Cubs.

Nick Cafardo reported earlier in the day that Soriano remained on the trading block and could be moved before Spring Training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute moves to improve. The Cubs are still willing to pay a bulk of the $36 million left owed to Soriano according to Cafardo, for a fair return. Reports have suggested that Soriano would not be willing to waive his no trade rights to be just a designated hitter.

So, which one is it? Is Soriano on the block or are the Cubs looking forward to him starting the season for them in left field and hitting clean-up? As Jed Hoyer pointed out they would like to get younger and according to multiple reports this off-season the Cubs are not going to give Soriano away. The Cubs’ front office would not be doing their job if they did not listen to offers for any player on their roster.

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello is trying to keep his focus among all the rumors this winter according to a report from Sports Illustrated. Porcello has been in trade rumors all off-season but the Tigers have not been able to work out a deal for the talented right-hander. The Cubs are one of many teams that have been connected to Porcello this winter.

Porcello ranks third in career wins, innings pitched and starts among active pitchers under 25 years old, trailing only Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Cahill in all three categories. Porcello has been working on simplifying his mechanics this winter and his slider.

Nick Cafardo has a feeling that Porcello will be moved sometime before or during Spring Training.

News and Notes

The Cubs added to their front office on Monday by hiring Tom Tango as a consultant … and the Cubs are looking for a Director of Research and Development.

Sandy Alderson joined Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden during the Front Office (MLB Network Radio) on Sunday morning. The Mets’ GM discussed his outfield options and said he was under the impression that Scott Hairston was looking for a full-time job in the outfield before he signed with the Cubs.

Michael Bourn is still looking for a five-year contract.

Prospects in the Cubs’ system have seen an influx of information under the Cubs’ new regime.

The Dodgers and Time Warner issued a press release on Monday announcing their new network … SportsNet LA. The new TV station will begin carrying Dodgers’ games in 2014.

The Phillies announced the signing of Yuniesky Betancourt on Monday to a minor league deal that included an invite to big league camp. The Cubs were linked to Betancourt around the Winter Meetings. If Betancourt makes the team and ends up the same lineup with Delmon Young it could be a very quick game for the opposing pitcher.

Former Cubs’ shortstop, Ronny Cedeno, signed a Major League deal with the Cardinals on Monday. Cedeno’s one-year deal is worth $1.15 million and he can earn an additional $850,000 in performance bonuses. Wonder if Cedeno thinks he is now on the right side of the rivalry?

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon