Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

Girardi reportedly “torn” between Yankees, Cubs

Joe GirardiJoe Girardi received a substantial contract offer – believed to be three years between $12 and $15 million – from the Yankees late last week. He has not yet responded, which the Chicago Sun-Times suggests may be an indication that Girardi is “torn” between accepting the Yankees deal and hearing what the Cubs will have to say.

The newspaper says that Girardi has received “back-channel feelers” from the Cubs, who may be willing to top the Yankees’ offer. The Yankees have not granted Girardi permission to speak with other clubs. The Nationals are also believed to be interested in Girardi, who is under contract with the Yankees until Nov. 1.

 In his end-of-season press conference, Girardi said that he expected his situation to be resolved quickly. He also indicated that the Cubs job did not hold as much appeal as it might once have, since his family ties to the Chicago area are not as strong as they used to be.

With Girardi in a holding pattern, the Cubs are moving forward with other options to replace manager Dale Sveum. Manny Acta,  Rick Renteria and A.J. Hinch are among those on the candidate list, reports MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.

Meanwhile, the Yankees’ offseason planning is underway. General manager Brian Cashman scheduled the club’s professional scouting meetings to begin this week, a gathering that will determine the Yankees’ blueprint for the winter.

Alfonso Soriano ready to try the pinstripes back on

Welcome back, Sori -- here pictured alongside Derek Jeter hearing Gloria Estefan's 2003 World Series National Anthem.

Welcome back, Sori — here pictured alongside Derek Jeter as they listen to Gloria Estefan sing the National Anthem at the 2003 World Series.

Alfonso Soriano said goodbye to his Cubs teammates on Thursday in Arizona, then boarded a red-eye flight here to New York. If the deal was 99 percent completed last night, as we hammered out in those stories from Arlington, it’s 99.99999 percent done as I type this right now.

The only remaining hurdle was Major League Baseball approving the transaction due to the money involved, and that’s just a formality at this point. Soriano is going to be in pinstripes this weekend, and the YES Network’s Jack Curry has already reported that Soriano will be issued his old uniform No. 12, having negotiated it away from Vernon Wells.

Update — it’s now 100 percent official. Soriano is batting cleanup for the Yankees tonight vs. Tampa Bay.

Yankees captain Derek Jeter made sure to point out he was not speaking for the front office this week in Texas (these days in Yankee-land, it’s best to parse your words carefully when speaking publicly, a fact Jeter knows very well) but he also left little doubt that Soriano would be welcomed back into the clubhouse quite easily.

“Everybody knows how I feel about Sori,” Jeter said. “I said it when we traded for Al — he’s someone that you develop a relationship with and you miss them when they leave. We had a great relationship. … He had a lot of power, stole a lot of bases. Sori did a lot when he was here. He was pretty exciting.”

The Yankees are reportedly surrendering Class-A pitcher Corey Black in the deal, and the Cubs are picking up all but about $6.8 million of the approximately $24.5 million Soriano is owed through 2014, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. About $5 million of that is expected to count toward next year’s payroll for the Yankees.

“I’ve changed a lot,” Soriano said yesterday. “I have a lot of memories with the Yankees, and how those players treated me and how they treated people, and that’s what I took with me. Now, I go back, and it makes me more excited because I’ve learned a lot about baseball, and I learned a lot personally.

“Those veteran guys like Mariano [Rivera], Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie [Williams], those guys helped me a lot,” he said. “I used to be a rookie, and those guys treated me very well, like a professional, and that’s what I learned, and that’s what I tried to give wherever I go.”

At age 37, Soriano may not be as electric as he once was, but this is sure to be a popular move with the fan base. It also can’t hurt a lineup that has desperately needed some added production, particularly against left-handed pitching, an area where Soriano has actually done quite well this year.

“He’s been a productive player over his career, there’s no doubt about it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said this week. “He’s been an exciting player, a guy that could steal 40 bases, a guy that could hit 40 home runs. He’s been a good player.”

Yankees and Cubs continuing Soriano discussions

Alfonso SorianoAt age 37, Alfonso Soriano may not be what he once was, but there’s little question that he could help the offensively-challenged Yankees. It’s not surprising, then, that the Yankees and Cubs are discussing a deal that would bring Soriano back to the Bronx.

The discussions are believed to be in the early stages, and nothing is imminent. The Yankees clearly would take Soriano, especially if the Cubs are willing to pick up a large chunk of his remaining salary, and Chicago would be looking for one or two Minor League prospects as they continue to sell off pieces of their team in advance of the July 31 Trade Deadline.

What would Soriano offer the Yankees? For one thing, a quality bat against left-handed pitching, something they sorely need. Here’s one notable chunk from the story posted above:

New York has been particularly vulnerable against left-handed pitching, one area at which Soriano has excelled this season, batting .280 (33-for-118) with six homers, 13 RBIs and an .820 OPS.

The Yankees’ team OPS against left-handers is .649, which ranks 28th in the Majors; only the White Sox (.640) and Nationals (.621) have been weaker against southpaws.

I could see a scenario where Soriano plays some outfield while helping to push the struggling Travis Hafner out the door. It is remarkable that there’s a situation where the Yankees might have Soriano and not Alex Rodriguez for the rest of the season, but that also would be premature. We’ll have more updates as this develops.

TONIGHT: Phil Hughes (4-9, 4.57 ERA) has the ball for the Yankees. Alexi Ogando (4-2, 2.93 ERA) is going for the Rangers. First pitch here at Rangers Ballpark is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Here’s the Yankees lineup: Gardner 8 Ichiro 9 Cano 4 Overbay 3 Wells DH Nunez 6 Lillibridge 5 Mesa 7 Romine 2 Hughes RHP

Cashman: Still unlikely Yankees make trade

The Yankees have put in a claim on the Cubs’ Carlos Pena, as first reported by SI’s Jon Heyman. Brian Cashman couldn’t speak publicly to the waiver process but said on the field at Yankee Stadium that an August trade involving his team still seems unlikely.

“I said I think it’d be very unlikely we made a trade,” Cashman said. “I’d be surprised if we wound up doing it. … I’m going to continue to scan everything, but no, I’m not optimistic of doing anything. I think this is most likely what we’ve got.”

Cashman pointed out that he has imported two players off waivers this month, however — pitchers Raul Valdes and Aaron Laffey.

Cliff Lee will take his time

110110CliffLee.jpg

The drop-off between Cliff Lee and the rest of the free agent starting pitching market is sizable, and that allows the left-hander a certain amount of comfort as his representatives approach the task of securing a large contract this winter.
Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, told The Associated Press on Monday that his camp is only “gathering information” at this point, and that no deal is expected to be reached quickly.
“This one certainly is a little bit unique in that he’s clearly the best player on the free-agent market and not a lot of other things are going to impact our position on Cliff,” Braunecker said.
Braunecker may not even attend next week’s General Manager’s meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., not needing to drum up interest in Lee. There is also no need to take Lee on a tour of the cities where he could pitch next year. 
The Yankees and Rangers are thought to be among his most interested suitors, while the Phillies, Brewers, Cubs, Nationals and Angels could also jump in. Lee’s eventual contract may be a five or six year deal, worth upwards of the $23 million per season the Yankees are paying CC Sabathia. 
“We’re going to take it on of kind of a team-by-team, case-by-case basis. I don’t expect Cliff to be flying all over the country,” Braunecker said. “We’re really in just the infancy stages of it all. We don’t really ever handicap the timing of any of this stuff. We believe that when the right deal presents itself, we’ll be prepared to act. And when that might be, that’s anybody’s guess at this point.”
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