A possible trade of Alfonso Soriano by the Cubs seemed to clear a big hurdle in the last two days.
That hurdle would be Soriano's approval.
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The Cubs left fielder met after Tuesday night's game in Arizona with team president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and field manager Dale Sveum. All indications are that Soriano seems willing to be traded, but Epstein told reporters Soriano wants a couple of days to think about it.
The New York Yankees, Soriano's first big-league team, are interested in acquiring a bat, and they've scouted Soriano extensively
Soriano is entitled by Major League Baseball's collective-bargaining agreement to veto any trade involving him because he is a so-called 10-and-5 player, meaning he has played in the big leagues at least 10 years and five with one club.
When he signed his eight-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs in November 2006, he was given a full no-trade clause by then-GM Jim Hendry, but the 10-and-5 rights supersede the no-trade.
The Cubs' lineup situation created a stir on social media Wednesday because Soriano was not in the lineup for the night's game against the D'Backs. The Cubs said it was a scheduled day off.
For his part, Soriano seems resigned to leaving if the two sides can work out a deal.
"Maybe wherever I go I can feel better," Soriano told reporters at Chase Field Wednesday. "(Epstein) knows my point. So now we're waiting.
"I'm 37. I want one more chance to go to the World Series. If (the Cubs) don't have that on their mind, (and) they're preparing the team for 2015 or 2016, it's too late for me. At the same time, I try to be a champion here. If not, I've got to try and do that with another team."
Soriano appeared to make it clear to reporters that he would not refuse a trade with the Yankees, who are on a list of teams that he would accept. The non-waiver trading deadline is July 31.
"We're got six, seven days," he said. "So I think the best chance, the best offer for them, that's what they want to take. We'll see. There's no rush."
The Cubs would like some financial relief from Soriano's contract, which was for $18 million this year and calls for him to be paid $18 million next season. The Yankees may pick up part of the money, and that no doubt would affect the caliber of prospect they'd be willing to send to the Cubs.
Soriano entered Wednesday with a hitting line of .254/.287/.467 with a team-leading 17 home runs. His 51 RBI were second on the team to Anthony Rizzo's 57.
Soriano's major-league career began in 1999 with the Yankees, for whom he played through 2003. He was on World Series teams in 2001 and '03, both of which lost, to the Diamondbacks in '01 and to the Marlins in '03.
If Soriano goes, the Cubs seem ready to plug rookie Junior Lake into left field. Lake went 12-for-22 with 2 home runs in his first 5 games since last Friday's call-up from Class AAA Iowa.