Epstein and Hoyer Meet with Alfonso Soriano and Other News, Notes and Rumors

Here is what is known. The Cubs are trying to trade Alfonso Soriano and both Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer flew to Phoenix and met with Soriano on Tuesday night to go over his options.

While the reports vary on the discussions the Cubs have had with the Yankees about their interest in Alfonso Soriano, one thing is certain, the front office does not want a replay of last year’s debacle with Ryan Dempster and are looking for Soriano to help them with this process.

Alfonso Soriano’s agent spoke with the Yankees but Soriano is not thinking about waiving his no trade rights because a deal is not close as reported on Tuesday morning. Soriano said he would be okay with being a DH on a part time basis but would want to receive regular playing time in the outfield. Soriano is not willing to agree to a trade if it means he would become a part-time player on another team.

Theo Epstein said, “The Yankees are not the first team to call, but they are the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away.” Epstein added it is “somewhat early” in the process but the Yankees are not the only team interested in Soriano.

Buster Olney reported on Tuesday night that a large gap remained between the Cubs and Yankees over Soriano’s value and how the two teams should divide up the nearly $25 million left owed on Soriano’s contract. The Sun-Times reported that while there is still work to be done, a trade sending Soriano to the Yankees could be finalized this week.

Reports are suggesting that the Cubs would like for Junior Lake to move over to left field when David DeJesus returns. The Cubs are expected to evaluate DeJesus on Wednesday and Dale Sveum mentioned the possibility of DeJesus being activated from the DL on Wednesday. The Cubs would have to open a spot on the active roster for DeJesus. The Sun-Times reported that by activating DeJesus on Wednesday it would give the Cubs’ seven days to build his value before the trading deadline. But could activating DeJesus be linked to a possible Alfonso Soriano trade?

Rumors and More Rumors

With the Matt Garza trade in the rearview mirror, the Cubs’ front office is expected to focus on trading such players as Alfonso Soriano, James Russell, Kevin Gregg, Dioner Navarro and possibly David DeJesus over the next week.

The Braves remain interested in James Russell according to multiple reports. Kevin Gregg was thought to be on the Orioles’ radar but with the Brewers sending Francisco Rodriguez to Baltimore on Tuesday that likely ended the chance of a reunion with Gregg and the Orioles. According to Bruce Levine, Russell and Gregg are not getting a lot of play right now.

Dioner Navarro is also another player that could be wearing a new uniform in the next seven days.

Cody Ransom could also be in play in a possible Alfonso Soriano deal with the Yankees according to Joel Sherman.

News and Notes

Josh Vitters told the I-Cubs beat reporters on Tuesday that he is happy the Cubs added Mike Olt to the system because both he and Olt can rake. Vitters told the reporters, “I think without a doubt in my mind that I’m going to be the Cubs’ third baseman of the future.” Vitters worked with minor league infield coordinator Jose Flores on his defense at first base prior to speaking with the media.

Mike Olt is expected to report to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday.

Marty Pevey announced on Tuesday that Justin Grimm with make his first start for the Iowa Cubs on Friday in Oklahoma City. Jed Hoyer said on Tuesday they are planning on Grimm pitching for a while with the I-Cubs because there are things he needs to work on. Grimm was not given the development time the Cubs feel he needs due to the Rangers need for pitching while competing for the division.

With the additions made to the Cubs system, Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks said on Tuesday that the case could be made for the Cubs having the second best system in the game.

Scott Baker is scheduled to make his third rehab start for Kane County on Wednesday.

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