While there has never been a doubt that the Chicago Cubs would listen to any team interested in acquiring 37-year old outfielder Alfonso Soriano in a concerted effort to rebuild one of the most storied franchises in baseball, his lack of production never drew much attention.
Soriano has hit .289 with six home runs, two stolen bases, and a 1.106 OPS in the month of July. After his recent stretch of success, it has become apparent that the veteran may very well be able to be a contributor to a playoff contending team.
Team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has made it well known that the Cubs are in the process of rebuilding a contender. Currently 14 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, the Cubs and their fans are aware that the focus is not to try to become competitors over night, but to continue to add assets toward a common goal, a championship.
Unfortunately for everyone except Soriano, there is still $26 million left on his contract, which expires after next season. Although Soriano has a no-trade clause in his contract, the outfielder has said himself, “I don’t want to be on this team if they don’t want me here,” and if there is a chance for him to join a contender at this stage in his career, he likely would not hesitate.
For a team to acquire Soriano, Chicago would likely have to pay the majority of the remaining amount on his eight-year deal. Regardless, it seems as though Soriano may be wearing a new uniform by the July 31 deadline, and the Cubs may begin their full-fledged rebuilding phase.