Soriano Flew to New York on Thursday Night, Cubs Expected to Announce Trade on Friday

While the deal is not official, Alfonso Soriano addressed his teammates and coaches in the clubhouse following Thursday night’s game. Soriano said his goodbyes before catching a red-eye to New York. Dale Sveum told reporters, “It was rather emotional for all of us.”

The trade is expected to be finalized and announced on Friday. All that appears to be left is finalizing the paperwork with Major League Baseball. Alfons Soriano left the Cubs so he would have time to be ready to play for the Yankees on Friday night once the deal is official.

Once the trade is announced, it is expected to be Alfonso Soriano and cash to the New York Yankees for a lower-level minor league pitcher. The Cubs and Yankees have reportedly agreed to the framework of the trade, including the pitcher the Cubs will receive in return. Major League Baseball has to approve the deal due to the amount of money that is going with Soriano to the Bronx. The Cubs could end up eating somewhere between $17 and $20 million of the nearly $25 million left on Soriano’s contract, while some reports have the Cubs sending half of the $25 million with him to New York. The other holdup is the paperwork required in order for Soriano to officially waive his 10-and-5 rights.

Reports have suggested the Cubs could receive RHP Corey Black in the deal, but nothing is official and Black said he has not received a call that he has been traded. Baseball America ranked Black as the 25th best prospect in the Yankees system prior to the season. The Yankees selected Black in the fourth round of the 2012 draft. Black started his college career at San Diego State and is from San Diego. Black can bring the heat (94-98 mph sinking fastball, mid-80s slider) and is 3-8 in 19 starts in High-A this season with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Once Soriano is traded, Jeff Samardzija becomes the longest tenured player on the Cubs’ roster with Starlin Castro having the most time with the team than any other position player.

When Alfonso Soriano was asked what he would remember most about being a Cub, Soriano said, “The fans.”


Once the deal with the Yankees is official, the Cubs are expected to turn their attention to trading other players on the roster. Theo Epstein said they are receiving a lot of calls right now. Kevin Gregg is expected to be dealt but after Gregg, the players the Cubs are willing to move becomes unclear.

Multiple reports have suggested the Cubs would like to keep both David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz, while other reports have stated the Cubs are likely to keep both veteran outfielders that would provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse next season.

There are reports that the Cubs have received calls on Dioner Navarro as well.

James Russell

The Cubs’ lone lefty reliever is garnering a lot of attention. According to Bruce Levine, the Orioles, Braves and Diamondbacks are among the teams that are interested in James Russell.

News and Notes

Brian Bogusevic is on the DL with a strained left hamstring and could return by early August. Bogusevic is expected to see time in left field when he is able to be activated from the disabled list.

The Cubs may fill Alfonso Soriano’s spot on the active roster with a relief pitcher.

Josh Vitters left Thursday night’s game after suffering an injury to his hamstring. Vitters told I-Cub manager, Marty Pevey that he could out for 1-2 weeks.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

  • tony d

    Low-level player and lots of money going with no Alfonso! Great now we can make sure we loose more games and I can hear how this was a good move. I will never like this. Hay Theo I could use a new car. How about giving me a Chevy Camaro and a few thousand dollars , so I can drive it on your dime? I would even lessen to the cubs and say that Theo you really know how to make a deal!! Thanks and please make a deal for me!

    • J Daniel

      As Theo stated … there is no reason to be mediocre and in the middle. They have in mind a long term plan and are not going to cave to anyone’s pressure and deviate from it. They are on a 5 year contract, they are TR’s guys, and with the drastic improvement in the system I can see them all being extended a year from now.

      I give them a lot of credit. The club has been playing really good baseball considering the level of talent they have, just my opinion. They will dive here again the rest of the season and hopefully enough to land another impact player next June.

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

      It’s to help build for the future. We’re not a good team now and that isn’t Theo’s fault. In a couple of years you wipl be eating a lot of crow: look at moves like this with an eye toward building the farm system, not the big league club.

  • GaryLeeT

    If that one run they scored off a mediocre pitcher is any indication, half of the Cub’s offense went along with him..

    • paulcatanese

      And that pitcher was virtually playing on one leg after taking a shot on the other one.

  • triple

    I’m just gonna go and point out something about this team that many think is terrible and will just take a bad turn for the worse with these trades. While people believe the Cubs are so far away from competing, they have quietly played to a 27-25 record over the last 2 months (since May 26).

    That record isn’t all just a credit to Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, and Alfonso Soriano. In fact, we still won the game that Garza was tabbed to start when he was traded. A game in which Soriano went 0 for 4 while Junior Lake, who will get alot more playing time in LF and probably CF too went 4 for 5 and had 3 RBI’s. So a AAA pitcher just replaced our best rotation starter that has been the hottest pitcher in baseball for over a month, and we won. Will that keep happening? No, but we’ve watched this team of no-names and slumping future hopeful stars battle day in and day out, while their bullpen has handed out over a dozen games to the opposition, yet they aren’t backing down.

    Yes, if they trade away DeJesus, Scheirholtz, and Navarro, things will get worse, but I don’t believe they will trade all 3 of them. How can the return on these guys be any better than what we are getting for Soriano? These guys are way more valuable to the team for what they are paid than for what they’ll bring in prospects in a trade. They are also the only 3 veteran position players left on the team that are worth a damn. Also, are there better FA options that will inexpensively replace these guys next year? If we trade Navarro, who will back up Castillo for the remainder of the season? J.C. Boscan with his 48 innings behind the plate and 19 at bats in the big leagues? I don’t think so. He’s actually 5 years older than Navarro by the way. DeJesus and Scheirholtz very well may be one-way platoon players, but that is perfect for giving more playing time to young players in September and next year while allowing prospects to be inserted into situations where they can have success.

    If anything, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Darwin Barney and Cody Ransom will be the 2 position players that get traded. This is what would give Mike Olt some PT in Chicago, while Valbuena moves over to play 2B.

    The biggest impact that may cause us to lose more games will be trading Kevin Gregg and possibly James Russell. Gregg has stabilized the back end of our bullpen really nicely. But maybe Pedro Strop can fill in that role and show us what he’s made of in the next couple months. So far I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him.

    • Tony_Hall

      Actually the return on Schierholtz, DeJesus and even Navarro could be better. Money isn’t an issue and with Schierholtz and DDJ, another year of control, not just a 2 month rental. These factors and actually having higher WAR’s make their return better.

      2013 WARS
      DeJesus 1.5
      Schierholtz 1.7
      Navarro 0.9
      Soriano 0.7

      • J Daniel

        Tex is going to love the WAR :)

        • Tony_Hall

          If he doesn’t like it, he can ignore it. But it definitely is not going away and takes the whole game into consideration when comparing players.

          To use one stat number, ultimately, players with OBP under 300 will not play for the Cubs much longer.

      • 07GreyDigger

        For those who hate the WAR thing, the thing in baseball is control. Schierholtz and DeJesus have team friendly deals for next season. So if you trade for them, you get their services the following year and teams are more willing to give up more for that. It’s as simple as that.

        • cubtex

          disagree. players like DeJesus are a dime a dozen. They don’t do anything above average. He is a platoon player with limited power,speed etc. He won’t take a team over the top. A minor league callup could have a similar impact on a team as a DeJesus. The thing about WAR is it measures defense with offense. So if Dejesus is a plus 1 WAR defensively and a 0 WAR offensively he has a 1 WAR. If DeJesus is a 2 WAR offensively and a -1 WAR defensively they have the same WAR….but who is more valuable to a team??? That is why WAR is BS to me. What if you have a team with 8 plus defensive WAR’s with all negative offensive WAR’s. How will you score any runs? Give me an offensively productive outfielder any day and I will replace them in late innings with a defensive specialist.

          • cubtex

            meant Soriano is a plus 2 WAR offensively and a -1 WAR defensively.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually that is not how WAR works. You don’t add them together it is not that simple.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained.shtml

            And yes a run saved it as good as scoring a run. Defense does play a big role in how a team does.

          • cubtex

            You cannot win and I will repeat. cannot win with an outfield full of DeJesus’s. You need run producers. You need your power bats who drive in runs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes you do, but they can’t have 280 OBP and below average defense.

          • cubtex

            Perfect example is last nights game. You take Soriano out of the 4 spot and you put players who are incapable of driving in runs in his spot. You have a sub .200 hitter with RISP as your 3 hole hitter now and then you replace Soriano with a guy who has no business being there. You need run producers! Who cares if you get 2 men on base if you have noone driving them in. The only way you score is if the pitcher walks a run in :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Are you saying they would have won the game if they only had Soriano? Add 1 more to his WAR then right??

            WAR is based on each team getting 45 wins. If a team wins 73 games as the Cubs are on pace for the players should add up 28 Wins. THAT IS ALL. Their WAR doesnt add up to 73. So a pitcher like Garza, let’s say he gets 33 starts, it is estimated that his team will win 9 games. If his team goes 20-13, in ALL his starts their is only 11 wins to be distributed between all the players. He doesn’t get credit for all 11 wins. Just like if Soriano hits a home run in a game, he doesn’t get credit for the whole win.

          • cubtex

            I am so tired of this WAR talk. Let’s put this in baseball player talk. Even talk about your sons high school team. You take your sons 4 place hitter out of the lineup and the lineup gets much weaker. I assume he is hitting 4th because he is there best run producer. Now you have to put a lesser hitter in his place. Who would your sons team rather have hit with the game on the line? Common sense.

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely, we played a few tournaments this year with a weaker team. Guess what we still did just as well, but had to play more as a team. We had a kid batting 4th that was the 3rd string catcher for the freshman team and he actually came through and drove in some runs. That is what happens when you bat with men on base, the hits you get drive in runs. That is why RBI’s don’t tell the whole story of a player.

          • paulcatanese

            Playing like a team is what it’s all about(hate to use that cliché), as long as you have the team to do it. Bunt,hit and run, steal, etc. and that’s the hardest thing for major league teams to accomplish. Easier of course if a team has one or two hitters to offset the need to use all small ball. The combination would be the best, but sounds like the team bought the concept.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, I actually never bunted in these tournaments to sacrifice. Had some opportunities to do it with weaker hitters, but told them I trusted in them to get a hit or advance the runner.

            Run and hit quite often, timely stolen bases, and amazing amount of sac flys and players giving themselves up with a man on 2nd and 3rd to get them over or get them in.

          • paulcatanese

            Try giving you’re best hitter the take sign after the pitcher walked the two previous players on 9 pitches.
            He steps in looks at the sign and hits a triple on the first pitch.
            At third where I am coaching looks over and says “great huh?”
            I answered yes it was, now go sit on the bench, quite an uproar after the game, not from him, but his father. Team concept is sometimes hard to teach (parents).The players were Varsity high school players.

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, in addition to my reply above, that’s what fries me about Castro and endears me with Lake.
            I view Lake as more of the player that will do anything to get on and Castro is totally one-dimensional, about himself.
            He is loafing more and more, with his half hearted attempts to run down to first, on passed balls, etc., and not appearing ready on defense.
            Sveum is there, Sori is no longer there, so Sveum needs to step up with a situation that previous managers have had to address with him, needs some correctional direction.

          • 07GreyDigger

            But the player has to be willing to learn. If he’s not, nothing no other manager could do is going to make him change.

          • paulcatanese

            As my grandson would say,
            Correcto!
            One little solution may be Baez, in September callus. He has just hit four home runs in the last few games, unless of course they are the same type of player.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Granted, I don’t watch as many games, but Castro has been starting to pick it up though. In July he’s got a .313/.374/.482 line. He’s also taken 6 walks this month. Baby steps.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, he has been watching the strike zone more closely, and that is an improvement.
            I was talking about the other night, after taking strike three and the catcher passed the ball and Castro, trotted down to first. (although watching ) and again on another passed ball going to second, and a few on ground outs. He has too many tools to loaf at anytime. Also almost standing straight up and down,
            no crouch waiting on the pitch.
            In my opinion having played there for many years, it cuts down on range as he has to go down (auto) and then up and then go for the ball. While it is a split second move, every second counts, and I am sure with Sveum being a former shortstop he has mentioned that to Castro.
            Just an observation as I am hard on shortstops, not fair but can’t help myself.

          • OttawaBob

            paul, I believe Baez is only hitting .213….not ready…. even for Setember. Rather see Alcantra

          • Tony_Hall

            Slow start , he has been on fire since.

          • J Daniel

            Would like to see both of them up even if it is to give them a taste of the bigs.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I wasn’t arguing WAR, I was arguing for control. My argument is if you have a viable major league OF who contributes (whether that it’s in a platoon, on defense, pinch hitting) and you trade for him to improve your team, your likely to give up more back if you control that player for an extra year instead of 2.5 months.

            DeJesus is valuable because of his platoon splits, ability to get on base consistently and play all three OF positions well. That’s valuable to a team in the hunt that’s short on OF talent.

          • triple

            Cubtex, you need to have a signature under your name that reads, “WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!!!”

          • paulcatanese

            Maybe I can get a decal of that one, and I will post it as well.
            Too much intelligence needed for me to apply the concept.

          • triple

            I agree Paul… I don’t think it’s totally useless, but even for a younger guy, I am more of the old school traditional stats guy. After all, these new stats metrics all still take into account alot of the same stats, but then there always seems to by this hypothetical involved. And while it may help organize some things better to measure one guy against another, I don’t think it tells the whole story anyway, just like the old stats don’t tell the entire story. When it comes down to it, this game is still played and won on the field, no calculations will ever predict who will deliver what in a certain situation. And Cubs fans should know that best!

          • paulcatanese

            See, that wasn’t hard, I understood you’re post and agree.

    • Tony_Hall

      Great post!

    • J Daniel

      Strop looks like he can be the closer and is worth the opportunity. Find out now if he can do it which answers a question for next year.

      • Tony_Hall

        I think we will be seeing a lot more power arms in the bullpen moving forward, and hopefully more than 1 lefty.

        • J Daniel

          Absolutely will. You and I have been on the same page from the beginning as far as Theo and this rebuild. Aaron probably loves all the young guys finally getting a chance but is probably still ticked over DJ.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure on Aaron, he has been MIA since early in the season.

            I can’t believe how in less than 2 years, Theo and Jed have taken a low ranked (I think bottom, but for argument sake we will just call it low) farm system and turned it into a Top 5 system, and I have seen Top 2 now being called. The farm system is bursting with redundancy at most, if not all positions, and will start filling up this major league with roster with low cost and controlled players, allowing the FO to fill in the holes with available payroll dollars.

          • J Daniel

            Agreed. With Sori moved the payroll is now like the Pirates, KC, Rays … but will build back as time moves on. The major tear down is complete with some minor pieces (but ones they signed) still to moved.

            This off season will be very interesting to see what they do to fill the gap between young guys being ready and the season at hand. Probably another year of sign and purge as guys are ready.

            When will Alcantara be up? I know Watkins is at the doorstep.

          • Tony_Hall

            Alcantara is at least a year away, and most likely not until end of year call ups in 2014. Watkins should be given a chance to make the team out of ST next year and could end up starting against RH’s.

          • John_CC

            Careful with the payroll comparisons. Someone is likely to claim the Ricketts are purposely loosing while hoarding his money. ;)

          • 07GreyDigger

            They’re paying 500 million of their own money to upgrade our lovable dump of a stadium. I’d hoard my money too.

          • paulcatanese

            You are correct in the system in the minors being rated higher, however that just pushes the Cubs into 2016 or 17 before they become contenders, if them.
            They all just prospects and only that until proven otherwise.

          • Tony_Hall

            What would their record be this year with just a couple more bullpen arms (like they have now) from the beginning of the year….it would be above 500 that is for sure.

            They are not as bad as you keep thinking they are!

          • paulcatanese

            A couple more bullpen arms and over ..500, wow I would have been very happy with that.
            Then again a .500 team to management is nothing , all or nothing, some argument.
            Never thought they were bad at all, and have made many posts to that end.
            It just seems that anyone with the “eye test” has no opinion here.
            Like buying a used car, just show me the fax.
            Soon, there will be no players at all, just people that are under control and trade effective. What a way for Baseball to evolve to.

          • Tony_Hall

            The eye test is huge still. Not sure why he has to be all stats or all eyes. I have said repeatedly over and over that the best use BOTH, and that is what this front office with Theo and Jed in charge are doing.

        • K_Gripp

          Every arm they have acquired seems to throw mid to high 90′s. The philosophy on pitching seems to be to grab as many power arms as are available and see if any of them stick. Maybe they are starters, likely they are hard throwing relievers, and maybe they miss but if you gather enough of them some of them are bound to hit.

    • paulcatanese

      How can the return be better? Just a batboy and a bag of balls would be an increase over what they got for Soriono.

      • Tony_Hall

        $10M ain’t what it use to be…..

        And young power arms don’t grow on trees and we are stockpiling them.

        • paulcatanese

          They are going to need a bigger stockpile for success.

          • Tony_Hall

            They have arguably the largest stockpile of players in the majors already….things are not as far off as you think.

          • paulcatanese

            OK, then they are going to need a bigger pile to put the stock in.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Who’s Soriono?

        • paulcatanese

          That’s a pretty low shot.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I know I come off looking like a bad guy and I’m sure to get votes down, but spell the guy’s name right. Especially if you’re a fan of his. Spelling errors have always been a pet peeve of mine. Drives my wife crazy. :)

          • paulcatanese

            That’s ok, I rarely if ever give those without answering.

          • 07GreyDigger

            No apologies needed. I misspell on here all the time. But because of my pet peeve, I get so mad at myself. It’s silly really.

  • J Daniel

    There are two big factors in this trade. The first being that they will save between $5-8 and the second being Lake (and then the next guy up with the next move) given the opportunity to play LF on a daily basis.

    I liked Fonzi but it was time. It was a contract that was hard to live up to because the media and fans want to continually bash over it. They were going for it in that stretch and it cost them the last few years. Sori’s game improved and he deserves credit but this is best for the long term rebuild process. Or maybe what was being said slowly improved as well as being a good player on a really bad team with no pressure whatsoever.

    I was hoping that Lake would play so well they couldn’t send him back down but this move was going to happen regardless.

    • paulcatanese

      You’re last paragraph, does that mean that Lake is headed down or do you mean the move
      was inevitable with Soriono.
      I knew it was going to happen with Sori, but hoped that Lake would stick. Am I missing something?

      • J Daniel

        Hi Paul,
        I meant the move with Sori was going to happen regardless and that it is nice that Lake has performed so well making it an easier sell.

        • paulcatanese

          Got it , thanks.

          • J Daniel

            Thank you, Paul. I always enjoy reading your insight!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dodgers designated Ted Lilly for assignment.

    If he gets released, he’s your 2013 replacement for James Russell, when Russell gets traded away.

    BTW, they had to designate Lilly to keep Marmol……

    And if Navarro goes, Humberto Quintero can be picked up off of the scrap heap to fill in the remainder of 2013.

    • J Daniel

      I don’t think he will accept a bullpen job. I posted last night that I can see them signing him though for a role in the rotation. Still need pitching and he is the “Bulldog”. For those that believe in having a veteran presence that will help influence others Lilly is probably a safe bet. Also, he is another perfect bounce back sign and deadline trade candidate.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I agree Rip. If they trade Navarro, they’ll be signing some veteran to fill the hole. Kelly Shoppach anyone?

  • Tom U

    Some of what I know about Black from listening to the Daytona broadcasts:

    Black is 21 years old, so he is appropriate for the Advanced A level. He is Tampa’s #3 starter and has fancied himself as a strikeout pitcher. He has an 88:45 strikeout ratio.

    However, since the Yankee’s have gotten him to concentrate on throwing strikes rather than striking people out, his numbers have improved. Black has gone 2-2 in his last ten games with a 3.57 ERA, a 36:26 ratio, and holding teams to a .227 average.

    • MikeT_2008

      Tom this might be a dumb question but in your mind, if it is Black coming back, is that a pretty fair return for Soriano and cash the Cubs are to pay?

      • Tom U

        Mike, the answer is Yes. The Cubs were on the hook for Soriano’s whole contract, so saving 7 million and getting a prospect can be considered a good deal.

        The Cubs were looking at a huge gap in pitching at the A+ and AA levels next season. They have done a great job in securing Ivan Pineyro, CJ Edwards, Black and a bunch of college pitchers in the draft.

        • paulcatanese

          Hey, I thought you were on vacation?

          • Tom U

            A vacation from my vacation?

          • J Daniel

            I think we all know the feeling. Keep up the great work … and put the computer away!

          • Tom U

            Well, as long as the wife is not complaining

          • paulcatanese

            I can recall getting away for a few days and making the mistake of picking up my messages their went the time off. Even when I answered once the callers knew where I was they even called me on it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Jim Bowden and Bruce Levine the deal is
    official. Bowden is reporting the Cubs are paying $17.7 million of the $24.5
    left owed to Soriano

  • oldanddisgusted

    Hate to see Fonzi go. I was down on him, just like many others were, a couple years ago, but ever since he called out Zambrano, his cred went up a couple levels. He was, quietly, the clubhouse leader. I am actually quite excited about the future for this team. I’m not so disgusted anymore. (But I’m still old).

  • MikeT_2008

    I’m happy for both in this deal. Happy that the Cubs were able to get something for him and happy that Soriano seems to be going to a place he enjoys, heck he nearly won the ’01 World Series for New York with his homer off Schilling in Game 7.

    Should be an interesting couple of days and maybe even August as I think they could move a DeJesus then if they do not move him by the 31st

  • Rational Logic

    Soriano was hands down one of the classiest players the Cubs have ever signed. I know the contract was excessive, but I really enjoyed watching him play and grow as a leader on this team. He will definitely be one of my all time favorites.

    He definitely deserved better. Thanks for 2007 and 2008! Best of luck!

  • cubtex

    Cub fans don’t expect much from this Soriano deal. If it is Corey Black he is a smallish starting pitcher who was drafted out of small school last year(think Hayden Simpson but with a little less stuff) He has already had Tommy John surgery(of course he did) and with his frame(if he makes it at all) will be a bullpen guy. Chances are that we won’t be hearing too much from Corey Black over the next several years. This deal was a salary dump and a way to open up an outfield spot.

    • J Daniel

      Certainly agree. Looks like $7 mil gained so overall a good trade for Cubs on that alone.

    • paulcatanese

      The Yankees came out of this smelling like a rose.
      Not only did the Cubs pay for most of Sori’s contract, but the Yankees are going to benefit big time with A-Rod and dumping him for violations (ped) and contract (doctor violation),
      I predict this and many more owners getting out from under large contracts using the suspensions for the peds, or at least not step in so they can re-coup as much money as they can.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Joel Sherman is reporting the Cubs will receive Corey Black
    in the trade. The Yankees will pay $5 million this season of Soriano’s contract
    and $5 million of his $18 million salary for next year according to Sherman

  • J Daniel

    $10 mil in savings … GREAT TRADE! WOW!

    • cubtex

      Yea. It is about the savings

    • cubtex

      That’s another argument that I was right about with Tony. Remember how he said that all a team would pay for Sori would be 3 mil a year? And that was 3 years ago he said that. Haha. I think I am batting 1000 with my little bets with Tony. The Garza deal and the Sori deal.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not really close. At the time no one would have paid $5M/year for him. He has brought his value back up by switching to a lighter bat and listening to coaches. All of this happened because he was given respect out of the gate by Theo, Jed, and Dale.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not that I have kept a running total, but we have had many more and I believe I have been right on all the rest. Not that I was wrong on Soriano at that time. Garza looks to have worked out but we will need a few more years to know for sure. So don’t pop the champagne just yet :)

    • Tony_Hall

      Actually $6.8M from what I have seen.

      Yankees paying $1.8M in 2013 and $5M in 2014.

      • J Daniel

        Could be … Neil wrote that Joel Sherman reports Stankees to pay $5 and $5? Regardless, it is cash, combined with Garza cash savings, to cover international penalties or some concrete work.

        To me, I could care less about the money as it is part of doing business. But, it is smart business.

  • oldanddisgusted

    Question…Everyone seems to agree that Soriano had grown into being the(a) clubhouse leader. So now that he is gone, KWood is not around, who is the defacto clubhouse leader? Don’t tell me it’s The Shark. Can’t be Castro, he doesn’t strike me as a “leader”. Do we even have a “Clubhouse Leader”?

    • Tony_Hall

      Good question, but for right now David DeJesus. This what happens when you keep moving out the 30 somethings and have a roster full of guys in their 20′s. The other is probably Anthony Rizzo out of the young guys.

      • oldanddisgusted

        Both of those names came to mind, but if speculation means anything, Dejesus won’t be around long enough to assume that mantle and Rizzo hasn’t been around long enough, yet. I’m hoping that Rizzo assumes that role at some point, but for right now, I guess Sveum is the clubhouse leader. Maybe 2014 they’ll bring in a “grizzled veteran” who will assume that role.

        • Tony_Hall

          Or better yet, one of the young guys steps up. Rizzo has been around long enough when you consider the rest of the clubhouse length of stay. Leadership can happen on day one as well.

          • oldanddisgusted

            Who knows? Maybe it’s Cody Ransom.

        • 07GreyDigger

          You don’t have to be a veteran to be a leader. Look at Jonathan Toews, he was named captain after his rookie year at just 20 years old, third youngest in NHL history.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          Wish Cubs would have gotten an experienced 3B stopgap, like Eric Chavez, which has worked out well for the dbacks. Or just resigned Aramis…they have the money, so not clear to me why Aramis couldn’t have been playing everyday last year and this year. You can still trade the guy when a rookie is finally ready to step up and take over 3B. I guess they thought Vitters was going to do just that…whoops!

          • Tony_Hall

            Aramis can’t play everyday anymore, too many injuries. Trust me I have had him the last 2 years on a fantasy baseball team. Always need a plan B. But his 2nd halfs are usually worth it.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            He had 570 at-bats last year… with a .300 avg and 100+ rbis. That’s pretty good in most fantasy leagues I would think, but I haven’t done fantasy in a few years. As far as injuries now…had he been with the Cubs this year, he may or may not have had the same injuries…you can never know for certain.

          • Tony_Hall

            It was. His has always struggled with injuries, since 2006 149 games is the most he has played in and in fantasy, missed games or half weeks are tough to deal with, unless you have a daily lineup option. I am hoping for a return and a big Aug/Sept from him, but I am glad we don’t have him signed for the next 2 years, as we have lots of 3B coming up soon.

      • cubtex

        DeJesus?

        • Tony_Hall

          http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs-talk/dejesus-will-be-interesting-deadline-decision-cubs

          I’ve told him over the years, and as recently as (Tuesday), how much I appreciate his mentorship of younger players,” Epstein said. “This is an established veteran player who goes on rehab to the Arizona Rookie League and is actively taking those 18-year-old kids under his wing and running in from the outfield because one of them forgot his sunglasses. (DeJesus gets) it for him.

          “He’s running hard 90 feet down first base to show those kids what it looks like when a big-leaguer plays the game the right way. So that’s really impressive. It had nothing to do with being traded or not traded, but I wanted to thank him for that. That means a lot. That makes us a better organization when you have guys doing something like that.

          “He’s just a really good baseball player that has lived up to his contract. He’s a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we’re trying to teach in this organization.

          • cubtex

            That is fine and dandy. Maybe he should retire and be a coach. He is a platoon player with average skills.

          • Tony_Hall

            You discount OBP so much it isn’t funny.

          • cubtex

            Do I think Valbuena is a good player? Absolutely not. He cannot hit. He looks for a walk. Big deal. Go up there like Eddy Gaedel with a wiffle ball bat then. DeJesus cannot hit either. I do not like these .230 hitters with no power,no speed, no value.

          • Tony_Hall

            DDJ is a career 280 hitter on the back side of his career (as all 30 somethings are) and is hitting 260.

            Valbuena is a utility infielder forced to start at 3B. I am completely confident that 3B has enough talent coming up that it will be a positive position for us for a long time.

          • cubtex

            DDJ hasn’t hit .280 in 3 years. I used to run a 5 minute mile…Does that mean I am still a 5 minute miler?

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe I gave his 280 and called it his career and gave his current average as 260.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            depends if the chick you are talking to would be impressed or not…lol.

          • Tony_Hall

            I stated it was his CAREER average and stated his current average as 260.

          • Tony_Hall

            The best leaders, lead by example.

          • J Daniel

            And can play.

          • triple

            This is exactly why I say DDJ is going nowhere. He is too valuable to the rebuild. Whatever prospect we would get in return is far outweighed by what DeJesus does for the team, this year and next. Obviously he would end up being a trade deadline piece next year anyway. And in Theo’s stance on how he values his “mentorship,” if some team wants to overpay for him, and hand the Cubs a prospect that Theo really likes, then I guess we will say goodbye to him and and Kim.

          • Tony_Hall

            We don’t have to say goodbye to Kim, she can stay.

          • cubtex

            Sounds like you are talking about Soriano….not DeJesus

          • triple

            Yes it does, but those words that Theo spoke were him talking about DDJ. The reason Soriano is gone is for the benefit of salary relief, but the added bonus is for a guy like Lake to come up and be off to a great start! Now the Cubs can afford to keep him in Chicago and let him play everyday. Afterall, he is hitting both lefties and righties, so he may be better than a utility player if he develops into a good outfielder. Could the scenario be the same with shipping out DDJ and keeping Soriano? Yes, but does the team save $6mil or whatever the figure ends up being. And then they would also have to go out this offseason and find another player who provides inexpensive veteran type leadership, who isn’t afraid to work hard everyday, knowing that he is only going to play part time. That is also something that Soriano would not be happy about if he was sitting 2 to 3 times a week. That is part of the respect to Soriano that the Cubs show in trading him to a team he will be happy to play for.

          • paulcatanese

            You mean he is doing exactly what he is getting paid to do?
            Give me a break, and an 18 year old that lets someone else run to get his sunglasses?
            Sounds like the thing a modern parent would do.

          • Tony_Hall

            DDJ is an old school type player that you should enjoy watching play. With so many players who don’t do these things, you of all people I would think would appreciate them.

            Also, don’t take the sunglasses thing out of context, we don’t know all the details of it. How many vets would do anything like this, let alone go to AZ Rookie league to rehab….not very many.

          • paulcatanese

            That’s exactly what I am referring to, he’s old school, plays the way he does and above all takes into account that he is getting paid to do it, that’s a bonus for him. I am sure he does not do the things he does to impress and encourage young immature idiots.
            He plays the game.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Haha. Maybe he was showing people how to be a teammate? They should have explained that story better.

  • John_CC

    I sure hope Samardjiza steps up now and acts like the leader he has to be.

    It is a bit nuts to think that he is the longest tenured Cub, but he is. No more complaining about who isn’t around anymore and how your friends are being traded. It’s a cliche, but it is time for Shark to step and take charge.

    Castro as well. This will be a big challenge for someone like Starlin, I’m afraid. Soriano has been his friend and mentor for his whole pro career. I hope he can carry the torch, so speak.

    Onward and upward!

    • paulcatanese

      Just so long as the Shark dosent encourage the players to copy his hairstyle:)

      • 07GreyDigger

        Or his stache. That thing is hideous.

  • Tony_Hall
    • cubtex

      So why is that any different than what Hendry did? Hendry didn’t have an opporunity to not care about winning and rebuild. He basically is saying no NTC now until they shop for a bigger name free agent and then they will do a NTC. Big deal

      • Tony_Hall

        No he didn’t say that. Mooney paraphrased it.

        “Epstein also recognizes it’s much easier to create a hardline policy while shopping for mid-range free agents and staying out of the bidding wars.”

        He never said they would change the policy, but that it is possible. Smart businessmen, never say never.

        • cubtex

          that is not smart. that is saying that we won’t buy any top free agents until the time comes to win but at that time we will have to give them ntc because that is the only way a top free agent will sign with the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            You criticize everything Theo does. This one amazes me that you still find a way to criticize it.
            Elite FA’s have different rules, than the rest. The problem was JH gave them out to young players on extensions. BIg difference.

          • cubtex

            I am saying this is not genius that he is doing. He is doing a great great job building the farm system. I have been giving him credit for that. He has no pressure to win now. He is in a major market. How many GM’s could do what he has done so far? I believe most everyone.

          • cubtex

            To expand on this Tony…..it’s Theo’s good fortune that Ricketts hired him at this point and time. He was at the right place at the right time. If Ricketts hadn’t come along couriting him….Theo would have been fired at Boston and out of a job. Theo has the best situation in the world. He is not expected to field winning teams while rebuilding the farm system. He has money to spend on international free agents(due to the Cubs being a major market team) while continuing to buy low fill in free agents for the major league team to flip for prospects due to the fact that they won’t be in contention. Great Job! As I have said….he has the easiest GM job in baseball. No pressure to win and can build up the farm system like the Pirates,Astros and other small market teams since the Cubs will have high draft picks under his reign. I don’t know why you take it so personally. Theo was at the right place at the right time but he is doing something that any GM could have done given the same circumstances.

          • Tony_Hall

            You act like no other team would have hired him, if they would have fired him. Teams would have line up for him if he was available. And yes many could do what he is doing, how well is the other part, but no sure thing they could have brought in the rest of the FO personnal like he did. He rebuilt the entire baseball organization and a lesser “personality” or lesser name would not have been able to do that.

            I think you also underestimate how much they have done in such a short amount of time….easy…not at all.

          • 07GreyDigger

            The key here is the talent and whether or not it works out. Hendry had a ton of high draft picks and none of them worked out and some never even made it to the majors. Same goes for trades. If you trade and get crap back, it doesn’t mean anything. You can lose all you want, but if you don’t draft well, you’re not going to go anywhere. Look at how things are working out for Dayton Moore in Kansas City.

          • cubtex

            I have heard the argument and I tend to agree with it. Theo was hired because of his popularity and “name” to be able to keep fans in the seats. A GM without a “name” would not generate the same excitement(although capable of doing the same exact job) Ricketts knew that the “Theo” mystique would help draw more fans while losing. It was a pretty smart hire in that standpoint.

          • Tony_Hall

            You act like all GM’s are the same, make the same decisions, and that there is no skill to do this job. Talent evaluation, player development, running an organization, are not so easy that everyone is just as good as anyone else. I am sure in your line of work, you have people all doing the same type of job, but not everyone has the same skill level and success.

          • daverj

            I agree with most of what you are saying, but not all of it. The key will be whether the Cubs start winning a few years and sustain that winning. Not every other GM would have selected the same young talent as Epstein. If the Cubs end up winning on a regular basis down the road with the guys Epstein put together, then he deserves the credit.

          • cubtex

            What out of the box players did the Cubs take in the draft? Almora was ranked where he should have been. Bryant was a projected top 3 pick. Soler was an international sign that any gm could have signed. I am not diminishing what Theo has done to build up the farm system. He has done a great job. What I am saying is that it isn’t extraordinary. They are losing terribly on the major league team and getting these high picks. He is doing the same good job that any other gm would perform given the circumstances.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Out of the box players are ones lower in the draft and unfortunately we’re not going to know anything about those guys until later down the line. The Zastryny and Masek draft picks come to mind.

  • paulcatanese

    From what I understand, Soriono may play tonight for the Yankees, usually on MLB or another, they always
    broadcast either them or the Red Sox, don’t really watch either, but will tonight between the Cub game.

  • Brp921

    If everything is said and done with this trade then I wonder why it has not been officially announced.

    • paulcatanese

      You may be right, MLB is saying it’s minutes(or so) away, and would play tonight if done.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’m guessing its the huge amounts of cash involved.

      • Brp921

        I hadn’t thought of that. They have supposedly agreed on the amount though. Do they send the whole amount up front though? The money is not owed to Soriano under those terms. I have always thought that teams bought annuities to cover long term monies paid to players