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Article updated: 7/24/2013 2:27 AM

Soriano discusses trade rumors to Yanks

By Bruce Miles

There were no new comings or goings Tuesday with the Cubs.

That's unless you count team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer going to Arizona to watch the Cubs play the Diamondbacks and do a little talking.

Other than that, there was a lot of "staying."

Junior Lake stayed in the starting lineup (with a ninth-inning home run), and it looks like he might be staying with the Cubs for the long term.

Starting pitcher Travis Wood is staying. He's one of the young pitchers the Cubs are building around. He started well against the D'backs but surpassed the 100-pitch mark in the sixth inning and suffered a 10-4 loss to fall to 6-7.

That brings us to left fielder Alfonso Soriano. He started again in left field amid reports the New York Yankees are interested in bringing him back to the Bronx via a trade.

That was a large part of the reason Epstein and Hoyer traveled to Chase Field. They planned to talk to Soriano and update him on any trade possibilities. As a player with at least 10 years in the major leagues and five with one club -- so-called 10-and-5 rights -- Soriano has the right to veto any trade.

Reports began surfacing late Monday out of New York that the Yankees are interested in trading for Soriano because they're desperate for offense as they try to stay afloat in the American League East.

Cubs people have said the reports have been either premature or overblown.

"They're not the first team to call," Epstein told reporters, referring to the Yankees and also adding there was nothing close. "They're the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away."

Soriano has wanted to remain in the loop on trade talks. Last year, he balked at a possible trade to the San Francisco Giants, citing the chilly weather in the Bay Area.

Talking with reporters in Arizona, he also downplayed the recent reports.

"I saw the news and got surprised," Soriano was quoted as saying. "My agent told me the Yankees just called, but it's nothing serious and it's nothing close. When I saw it on TV, I got a little surprised. I didn't know it was coming.

"They put a lot of pressure on me, because a lot of friends called me and family when they saw the rumor on TV. My agent and me, we have the control. We talked, and I think if something happens, I want to be the first one to know."

As is his right under the collective-bargaining agreement, Soriano can take his time in thinking about whether to approve a trade.

"I just focus, play baseball, play the game today," he said. "If it happens, if I'm getting closer, I'll think about it. Now, there's nothing there.

"If the president and the GM don't call my agent, it's because nothing happened, nothing's close. If it gets close, I want time to think about it. Now, there's nothing to think about.

"That's my first organization, and I enjoyed my time with the Yankees. They have a very good team. They are the Yankees. They always make the playoffs, no matter what team they have, no matter what pitching they've got. They always find a way. It's one of the best organizations in baseball."


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