Cubs to Discuss Options with Alfonso Soriano

The report the Cubs were close on a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees that surfaced early Tuesday morning was premature according to Jed Hoyer. Hoyer discussed the Soriano trade rumor during an interview on MLB Network Radio (XM Radio) with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on Power Alley.

Hoyer said when he woke up on Tuesday morning and saw the reports he thought it was interesting. Hoyer acknowledged the Cubs are talking to teams about Alfonso Soriano but nothing is close.

Jed Hoyer explained that last year at the deadline the Cubs went to Soriano when teams contacted them with interest. This year will be different.

Jed Hoyer is catching up with the team in Arizona and is going to sit down with Alfonso Soriano to go over the list of teams that have inquired about him and let him decide what options would work for him. Hoyer indicated the team has no plans to push Soriano in one way or the other.

Updated: 2:34pm CDTAccording to Peter Gammons, the Yankees deal for Soriano “likely happens, but there is a way to go.” Theo Epstein is also flying to Phoenix to discuss options with Alfonso Soriano. Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees have had one of their most-trusted scouts, Tim Naehring, watching Soriano for at least the last four days.

A report from Joel Sherman indicated the Cubs have been scouting the Yankees system and have shown interest in pitchers such as Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne, Dellin Betances, Danny Burawa and Tommy Kahnle. The Cubs scouted RHP Chase Whitley over the weekend.

Alfonso Soriano has full no trade rights and is owed nearly $25 million over the remainder of his contract that expires after next season. Reports have suggested the Cubs are willing to pay a majority of what is owed to him depending on the quality of player or players they receive.

From the interview:

  • Hoyer on Alfonso Soriano to NYY rumor: “Very premature; we’ve had conversations with multiple teams about him, but nothing close.”
  • Hoyer on Soriano NTC: “Last year we took things to him on individual basis, this year we’ll sit down with him about his thoughts”

Report from Carrie Muskat

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Kahnle would be my first choice then Whitley, Claiborne, Betances and Burawa. No real interest in Kelley for me, just due to age. Now that probably means he’ll be the one we get…

  • 07GreyDigger

    If they’re sitting down with Soriano that means they have enough interest to move him. Don’t hesitate Mr. Hoyer.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I agree, get a prospect like Kahnle. I’ll miss Soriano’s bat and attitude but I’m ready for a full-time youth movement. Let the kids play now and in 2014 and it’ll pay dividends in 2015.

      Find out which way to go on guys like Jackson. Can he fit in or is he gone? Only one way to know and that’s to let the coaches work with him and watch him. Plus get Sweeney on the field. He’s a solid player that could develop some value.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Sweeney is more of a veteran though. He makes DeJesus expendable. He’s a guy who can hit for average and get on base. And he’s younger.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Updated: 2:34pm CDT – According to Peter
    Gammons, the Yankees deal for Soriano “likely happens, but there is a way to
    go.” Theo Epstein is also flying to Phoenix to discuss options with Alfonso
    Soriano. Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees have had one of their most-trusted
    scouts, Tim Naehring, watching Soriano for at least the last four days.

  • daverj

    Anyone hear how hard the Cubs are pursuing Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez? The Cubs have the money to go $50 million over 5 years and he would be a great piece to bring in. Could be our #2 starter for the next 5 years.

    A lot of ifs here, but … if the Cubs sign Gonzalez and go all in and overpay Price after 2014, the 2015 team could look like …

    Starters: Price, Gonzalez, Shark, Jackson, Wood

    Pen: Vizcaino, Strop and others

    Lineup:
    Almora CF
    Castro SS
    Baez 3B
    Rizzo 1B
    Bryant LF
    Soler RF
    Alcantara 2B
    Castillo C

    Bench: Olt, Lake, Barney and others

    And that doesn’t include Pierce Johnson, Vogelbach, and the other 20+ current minor leaguers that have solid majors league upside.

    • Tony_Hall

      Keep adding talent…..then repeat!

      Buy low, sell high!

      FA is the worse use of a teams resources.

      I know you get this, but is this starting to make sense to everyone.

      • cubtex

        No it is not. Can you explain it to me again????? Just kidding Tony. Please Please don’t

        • Tony_Hall

          Ok, lets start at the beginning….The Theo Press conference

          “To me, baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with history, baseball is better with fans who care, baseball is better in ballparks like this, baseball is better during the day. And baseball is, best of all, when you win,” Epstein said during a packed Wrigley Field news conference.

          “I firmly believe that we can preserve the things that make the Cubs so special and over time build a consistent winner, a team that will be playing baseball in October consistently and a team that will ultimately win the World Series.”

          “I’ve waited a few weeks to say this, but it truly feels great to be a Cub today,” Epstein said, who agreed to a five-year deal for a reported $18.5 million.

          The Cubs haven’t won a title in 103 years and haven’t been to the World Series since 1945. The Red Sox endured an 86-year stretch without a title, but Epstein built a team that won it all in 2004 and again in 2007.

          “I don’t believe in curses, (and) I guess I played a small part in proving they don’t exist, from a baseball standpoint,” Epstein said. “I do think we can be honest and upfront that certain organizations haven’t gotten the job done. That’s the approach we took in Boston. We identified certain things that we hadn’t been doing well, that might have gotten in the way of a World Series, and eradicated them. That’s what we’ll do here.”

          Why does he think he can do what no one else has been able to in Chicago?

          “When I got to Boston they hadn’t won in 86 years. We didn’t run from that challenge. We embraced it,” Epstein said. “We decided the way to attack it was to build the best baseball operation that we could, to try to establish a winning culture, to work as hard as possible and to bring in players who care more about each other and more about winning than the people around them thought or the external expectations, the external mindset. That’s something that is going to be important to us here as well.

          Scott Van Pelt

          ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine discusses the expectations for Theo Epstein in Chicago, Carlos Zambrano’s future with the Cubs and more.

          More Podcasts »

          “We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”

          Epstein vowed to build a better scouting and farm system for the Cubs.

          “We won’t rest until there is a steady stream of talent” going to Wrigley Field from the minors.

          “We’re going to have to grind our way to the top,” he said.

          Epstein was asked about changing the Cubs culture. From the curse of the billy goat to the moniker of lovable losers to the 1984 collapse to Steve Bartman in the 2003 NLCS, the Cubs have a rich history of failure.

          “Every opportunity to win is sacred,” Epstein said. “It’s sacred to us inside the organization and it should be sacred to the fans as well. They deserve our best efforts to do what we can to improve the club, and put the club in position to succeed in any given season.”

          Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts introduced Epstein at Wrigley Field and said he knew he had his man after 10 to 15 minutes of discussions.

          “We began this search in August, and I said at that point we were looking for someone with a background in player development, someone who had a proven track record of success, someone who had a strong analytical background and someone who had experience in creating a culture of winning,” Ricketts said. “It was also important to me that this person would not be someone who was content with their past successes, but someone who would build on those successes to improve themselves and improve the organization that they’re with.

          “Given these criteria that we laid out, I simply cannot imagine a better person for this job than Theo Epstein.”

          SportsNation: Theo Epstein to the Cubs

          Can Theo Epstein break the Cubs’ World Series drought? Was he more lucky than good in Boston? Was his departure preordained? Vote!

          Few additions to the Cubs — players or managers — have generated as much buzz as Epstein. “Cubs Welcome Theo Epstein” lit up the famous Wrigley Field marquee at the corner of Clark and Addison on Tuesday morning, and the conference room for Epstein’s introduction was packed.

          The 37-year-old Epstein left the Red Sox with a year left on his contract as general manager. The Cubs finally made the announcement Friday night, but held off on the news conference until Tuesday, a travel day for the World Series.

          The compensation package the Cubs will send to the Red Sox still has not been finalized. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig gave the teams a Nov. 1 deadline before he steps in to resolve the matter.

          Epstein arrived in Chicago on Monday and met with his front office staff at a restaurant near Wrigley, but it wasn’t his first venture into the area. In the beginning of talks with the Cubs, there were unconfirmed reports that Epstein was seen at a Wrigleyville Starbucks. Epstein confirmed the report after the news conference.

          San Diego Padres general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod will join Epstein with the Cubs, sources told ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine, who reported that both man have been in Chicago for the past three days. A news conference to announce those moves is expected within a week.

          Epstein replaces Jim Hendry, who was fired July 22 but stayed on to help the team with the draft and trade deadline.

          Among the questions facing Epstein is what to do with manager Mike Quade, who has one year left on his contract. The Cubs finished a disappointing 71-91 in 2011, which was Quade’s first season as a full-time manager in the majors. Quade succeeded Lou Piniella at the end of the 2010 season on an interim basis.

          Bowden: Epstein has help

          Bringing Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod with him might be Theo Epstein’s smartest Cubs move, writes, Jim Bowden. Story

          • Kahrl: Whole new world for Cubs
          • ESPN Chicago Cubs blog

          “I’ve already had a couple of nice phone conversations with Mike Quade,” Epstein said. “We have plans to meet in person sometime over the next week. Mike seems like a great guy and he has developed a great reputation over many decades in this game. I’d like to hear his vision for the organization. We have to talk up some things that have happened the last year or so.”

          Would Epstein consider bringing in Terry Francona, who left the Red Sox before he did.

          “I have a close personal relationship with him. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Epstein said. “Is he going to be a great manager for somebody again someday? Absolutely. Is he able to contribute to organizations in other ways, and serve the same role he served with the Indians, where he was a special assistant, made some good evaluations in the draft and the minor leagues? Absolutely.”

          Citing a policy he had in Boston, Epstein would not say what the Cubs’ payroll will look like next season, but said that the baseball side of the operation will have plenty of resources. He did not say if he would go after big-name free agents, such as Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but he did say that he has learned some lessons on that front.

          “The key is to pay for future performance, not past performance,” he said.

          The Cubs do have several question marks on the roster, including pitcher Carlos Zambrano, whose tumultuous career in Chicago seemed to reach a dramatic conclusion this season when he left Atlanta’s Turner Field during a game in August and said he was retiring. He later changed his mind.

          Hendry put Zambrano on the disqualified list, and though he was activated after a grievance was filed, many assumed Zambrano’s days with the Cubs are over. He has one year and $18 million left on his contract and a full no-trade clause. The Cubs may have to eat the bulk of that to move him.

          Alfonso Soriano has three years left at $54 million and also has a no-trade clause. Ricketts will have to decide how much of Soriano’s deal he’s willing to absorb to facilitate a trade, if that’s Epstein’s suggestion.

          Under Epstein’s guidance, Boston went 839-619 (.575) in the regular season and a 34-23 in the playoffs, winning more than 90 games in all but two seasons. He acquired such stars asDavid Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Jason Bay and Adrian Gonzalez, though he also will be remembered for bringing in highly priced players who fell short, including Edgar Renteria,Daisuke Matsuzaka, and John Lackey. This season it was Carl Crawford who didn’t meet expectations after signing a big contract.

          Epstein has a history of smart draft moves (Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz) and he has spent freely. His tenure in Boston ended poorly when the Red Sox collapsed in September and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

  • daverj

    The Pirates should not let Soriano go for a mid-level relief pitcher without getting in on the action, but they probably won’t …

    • 07GreyDigger

      I doubt Huntington wants that albatross on his team next year. That’s the whole problem with trading for Soriano.

      • paulcatanese

        I can appreciate everyone having an opinion, however “albatross”” is a bit strong.
        This is a good man that has related to the Cubs and players his entire career.
        Old, ready to retire, streak hitter, yes, but Albatross, no, that he is not.

        • cubtex

          I feel your pain Paul. I am right there with you. Theo is building the Cubs through the farm system and at the same time….it is making the major league team worse. Eliminate Garza, now Soriano and replace them with a fringe mlb player. We have endured several years of losing but at least the team tried to field a competitive team. Now it is if they have an older player or a player who might get expensive they are traded for prospects. This will work and the Cubs will be a competitive team for years but it sucks for the present. 2014 should be worse since they will try and play some new players like Olt,Lake,Grimm,Arrieta and others. They will have growing pains. Maybe 2015 they will get over .500 or close and 2016 have a chance. It sucks since with the 2 wild cards they could have done it both ways but it is what it is. At least we can have you give us some new Olt jokes :)))

          • paulcatanese

            Just walked in, I agree and thanks for the response.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I looked up the definition of albatross.

          “a constant and inescapable burden or handicap.”

          Considering Theo and Jed have been trying to trade him since they arrived, I’d say that Soriano has been an albatross to them. He’s clogged up LF for a younger player to establish himself or be considered. Whatever veteran advice/good character he has is irrelevant.

          Augie Ojeda used to be one of my favorite Cubs players because he was scrappy and I always root for the underdog. But it didn’t hide the fact that he just wasn’t any good. It’s not an attack on who he is or anything. It was just reality.

          • cubtex

            How has Soriano been a constant handicap or burden? Is he disruptive in the clubhouse? Has he been productive on the field? Who has he blocked the last couple of years? I can’t stand this unwarranted bashing of Soriano either. He didn’t put a gun to the Cubs head and make them give him that contract. He has never been associated with PED’s like so many other players. He has had one hell of a career and should be applauded for how he has played….not ripped and bashed.

          • 07GreyDigger

            In terms of blockage, you could argue that the FO might have signed someone different to patrol LF, maybe a guy they could flip for more long term assets.

            As for the rest of it, if you read what I wrote, I’m glad he’s good in the clubhouse and not a cheater, but it doesn’t make his contract any less of a burden. I’m not attacking the guy, I’m attacking the contract. Because he hasn’t lived up to what they pay him. And that’s not his fault persay, because I would have signed the same deal if I was him. But his “hell of a career” has largely been prior to his signing here. They paid for past performance.

            The average year the Cubs have gotten out of Soriano is: .264/.317/.496 for an OPS of .812. His average numbers are 486 ABs, 26 HRs, 75 RBIs and 10 SBs. Is that a “hell of a career?” Is he an all time Cub great?

            Among the active OPS leaders, an .812 OPS puts Soriano 60th. That’s not a “great” player to me.

          • cubtex

            Excuse me….did you say the FO could have signed someone different to patrol LF to flip? Jason Bay? ummm lets see who else… David DeJesus…oh wait they did that one already. They could have played Dave Sappelt fulltime. Yea. Just think of the possibilities. We were stuck with Soriano with his 30 plus HR’s last year and 100 plus RBI. Just think what could have been?

          • 07GreyDigger

            The year he had last year was an exception to the rule. Think he’ll get 100 RBI’s this year?

            Here’s people that were available last year that could have been flipped:

            Jason Kubel
            Luke Scott
            Cody Ross

          • daverj

            Are you mixing up Soriano and Milton Bradley?

            I’m open to dealing Soriano, but I don’t see how anyone could call Soriano an albatross.

          • Tony_Hall

            Besides for the $18M that weighs him down each year on the way to the bank.

            He has been great, especially the last 2 years, not $136M great, but inflation and all.

      • daverj

        If the Cubs pay 2/3 of Soriano’s 2014 salary, the contract for whoever acquires Soriano would be reasonable. $6,000,000 for a guy who should hit .250 with 20+HR isn’t bad. It’s probably about what he could get in the free agent market on a 1 year deal.

        • Tony_Hall

          If the Yankees acquire Soriano, the Cubs will pay all but the league minimum for 2014. This will help their cap number for the MLB penalty for going over $189M for too many years. Any savings will come in this years payroll.

          • daverj

            I think that is too much. I’d rather keep Soriano if we had to pay all of next year’s salary … unless we got one of the Yanks Top 15 prospects back … then I’d consider it.

          • Tony_Hall

            The savings will be the same regardless of when it covers. But the Yankees need to show a smaller number in 2014, so if the Cubs get the Yankees to cover $6, $8M whatever, it will be in 2013 minus $500K for next year.

            I think we will get a decent enough prospect back, not sure about Top 15. To get that we may need to send another player with as well (low level).

  • DWalker

    Jason Parks @ProfessorParks
    You can make a case for number two in baseball. RT @craigy_bear9: @ProfessorParks Where would you rank the Cubs overall system now?
    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks
    _________________________________________
    Cubs position talent. RT @woedoctor: @ProfessorParks Which collection would you rank higher: Padres pitchers, or Cubs position players?
    _________________________________________
    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks @BucsBeers @KippYates Talent is talent. A system doesn’t require balance to be great. Cubs have best collection of bats in the minors.

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles For Cubs Fans For July 23, 2013 | Chicago Cubs Dugout Online | Chicago Cubs Blog()

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Yankees waiting on word about A-Rod and PED suspension. Don’t get your Blue Kool Aid hopes high once again on a Soriano rumor trade.

    Meanwhile…….this Junior Lake has lots of energy……Ryan Braun is a scumbag…….I sill believe Theo will shop Samardzija at the dead line to see what the value is to other team…………and Kim DeJesus is a beautiful woman…if David gets traded, does she have to go also?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tony,

    Did you notice that Neil Huntington got smart and designated Brandon Inge for assignment? He hit .181 with them. Over the past 3 seasons he has hit .204.

    Maybe Team Theo wants him now.

    • cubtex

      Guess who else is back? Carlos Marmol!

      • Tony_Hall

        Just saw that. Goes to show that teams will always give guys who have done it another chance, that there is something left, not just the Cubs.

        • cubtex

          I read where they changed his setup and made him more upright. They said he has more life and command on his slider with the new delivery. we shall see.

          • Tony_Hall

            He definitely needed to do something different. Getting sent to Single A will make you listen a little more, intently.

          • triple

            Interesting… Honestly, I hope it works out for Marmol. He sure was fun to watch pitch when he was on! This will give us all a little more of a window into how Chris Bosio has been doing for the Cubs. Obviously, he seems to have helped the Cubs starters by providing a good game plan and i imagine he’s done things for our pitchers that we don’t see behind closed doors, but the way our bullpen has pitched has left some to be desired.

            If Marmol still falls, then we know it can’t really be blamed on the coaching.

    • Tony_Hall

      Why would they want Inge? This makes no sense. They are about to start calling up their own guys from AAA (maybe even AA). Why not focus your attention on those players, instead of finding new way to rip apart the Pirates…..the way you talk about the Pirates is so similar to the Cubs, that I am assuming you are a closet Pirate…..

      • cubtex

        hehe hehe hehe hehe……He said closet Pirate hehe hehe

        • Tony_Hall

          I am just imagining a picture of Rip in Pirate gear, hiding in his closet, listening to the Pirates game, while the Cubs game is on in the main part of the room, that is just loaded with Cubs memorabilia.

          • cubtex

            Listening to that Michael Bolton Pirate song. Jolly Roger or however it goes. Lol

  • Bredstik

    Really curious about whether Soriano will be in the lineup tonight. I have to think that if Theo is flying to Arizona to talk to him, a deal must be close and just needs his approval.

    I’ll be surprised if he’s in the lineup.

    • daverj

      Soriano is in the lineup batting cleanup tonight.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Soriano will have his demands to waive his no trade clause……one will be a contract extension.

    Don’t hold your breath for this trade to happen.

    • BosephHeyden

      Where do you get that? Soriano has gone on record saying that he was sick of losing and wanted to get back on a winning team. He won’t accept a trade because it’s “right for the team”, but he will accept a trade because he wants to go out with a ring and that ring isn’t coming with the Cubs.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    You think by now that Theo & Jed would had Soriano’s team list by now…….We have been talking about trading Soriano for several years now……..I believe Theo is telling Soriano that if he does not approve this trade, 2014 Soriano will be on the bench.

    • BosephHeyden

      Okay, say that Soriano’s list last year included the Giants (I know they don’t want him and he doesn’t want to go there, but it’s an example). Why would he want to be a Giant this year? They have virtually no shot of making the playoffs.

      Soriano’s “list” is likely every team that has a legitimate shot of making the playoffs. Which is a different “list” than last year.

      There’s nothing to suggest Soriano is holding this up, and there’s nothing to suggest that Theo’s making veiled threats here.

  • matthew8510

    any chance we take a chance on marcumb ow that hes on waivers

    • triple

      Is he still having health/injury problems? If he is in fact healthy, he couldn’t hurt. But at the same time, that wouldn’t let the Cubs evaluate the youth on the mound as much as they’d probably like either.

      • matthew8510

        ya i figured it wouldnt hurt hes only 31 yrs old maybe change of scenery would help

        • matthew8510

          nvermind hes on 60 day dl with a neck problem

  • triple

    Not that I like to bring this stuff up, but I know some of the hater-types may like what I’m about to point out, as it does equate to another strike against Dale Sveum. But as a hitting coach, Sveum has gotten credit for mainly 2 guys in the Brewers organization: Prince Fielder, and two-time lying, POS PED positive testing Ryan Braun. Well we all know that Fielder was raised to be a hitter, and a big one at that. And at this point, it’s pretty obvious that PED’s have way more to do with Braun’s success than Sveum, so does Sveum really deserve any credit having to do with anybody improving their hitting under his tutelage?

    • SomeGuy27

      Don’t know if Sveum had any influence on Braun’s hitting but I have to disagree with you a bit on what exactly PED’s do for you as a player.

      First of all, they don’t make you see the ball better or improve your reflexes ensuring better contact. What they do is help you recover sooner. What I mean by that is the baseball season is long, real long, and your body breaks down. PED’s help the body repair itself sooner than what would naturally occur.

      Additionally, they help build muscle tissue which again ties back to the whole recovery thing. Can you hit a ball farther or throw a ball harder because of them? Yes.

      However, if you don’t have the underlying talent and ability in the first place they won’t make your skills any better.

      • triple

        I certainly do believe they will make your skills appear to be better than they are. Will someone using PEDs be able to hit the ball those couple feet further that put it out of reach of a pursuing outfielder? Yes. Will they hit the ball that extra mph or 2 faster allowing the ball to get past the outstretched infielder? Yes. Will your increased speed of swing help you make better contact with the fastball? Yes. I don’t think you can look at all the HR’s and higher batting averages in the last 2 decades and say that steroids and PEDs were not the main culprit. Why is that the only era of baseball that many players became .300-.350 hitters who were capable of annually hitting 45-60 HRs, and causing the high amounts of run production as a result?

        Yes, all these guys have the talent to be in the major leagues, but with that extra boost, they become these men amongst boys playing a different game… Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, ARod, and the list goes on… I won’t even put Braun up in the list of those guys I just mentioned, because I don’t think he is of that caliber. Hell, Sosa really isn’t either without a little help from somewhere, be it cork, or something that came from a needle.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        disagree a bit.
        I am no scientist, but Barry Bonds didn’t just “recover” more quickly, he actually seemed to improve with age, likely seeing the ball better and having quicker hands and bat speed, when he hit his 73 hrs.
        Some thought ol’ Barry may have been on hgh, or something other than steroids, but the point is that for a young guy like Braun, I think it is more about improving performance and less about repairing. With Roger Clemens, who was aging and breaking down, I do think it was about repair.
        And if you just look at plain ol’ roid rage, I will always maintain that Mr 4% bodyfat, Kyle Farnsworth, was on something.
        And Prior…those freakish calves.
        I am somewhat certain Jody Davis wasn’t on steroids…so his homers seem more impressive as time goes by, for a slow-running catcher that stood 5 feet off the plate.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Agree’d. Though I am not against Sveum nor am I for him. I would like many other’s prefer Sandberg. Yet the FO had a vision/plan and with that plan they needed someone they had had experience with and understood their vision. Sveum was their man for the job at that time. Now I do believe Sveum’s job will be in jeopardy. But not for the rest of this season but next season. And yes being a former hitting coach he looks really bad.