Last July prior to the trade deadline the San Francisco Giants had reached an agreement to acquire Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs. It’s unclear exactly what the Cubs may have received in the deal, as Soriano exercised his no trade rights to prevent the deal from being completed. While Soriano stated after the fact that he’d prefer to remain with the Cubs to help the team win, it would seem as though he’s started to be “more open” to a deal this year, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times.
Wittenmyer specifically asked Soriano if he’s more willing to waive his no trade clause if the club presented him with a deal:
Yeah. But it depends on them. It depends what the team wants. A chance to win, that’s the most important thing. But it depends on the front office. It’s not on me.
Now 37 years old, Soriano’s desire to play for a winner is common among veterans at this point in his career. While he’s hit .262/.291/.399 in 175 PA on the year, the Cubs have yet to look like a serious competitor in the tough NL Central. If he’s going to play in a winning environment, a move just may be necessary as the Cubs appear unlikely to improve enough before Soriano’s contract expires following the 2014 season.
It’s tough to predict which contenders may be in search of an upgrade in the outfield (or at designated hitter) this summer but Soriano could be an interesting name to keep an eye on. If he continues to hit and play adequate defense there could be multiple suitors, though the Cubs will likely need to step in and cover part of what Soriano is still owed. He’s earning $18 Million this season and will receive the same next year, so there’s little chance a team would be willing to take on such a large sum even if they only needed to part with minimal talent in return.