Alfonso Soriano appears to finally be on his way out of Chicago after being scratched Thursday night with a trade nearing. Manager Dale Sveum seemed certain the deal will take place between the Cubs and Yankees, telling MLB.com's Carrie Muskat the trade is "99 percent done."
With the two sides coming close to finishing a deal, Cubs president Theo Epstein asked Sveum to remove Soriano from Thursday's lineup. This could conclude a tumultuous time for a player who recently had been painted as selfish, something Sveum denied vehemently when he spoke to CSN's Patrick Mooney:
"He's 100 percent completely different than I thought. There hasn't been a day of disappointment in his attitude/work ethic."
If finalized, the trade would mark a return to New York for the 37-year-old, who began his major league career with the Yankees in 1999. He spent five seasons in the Bronx, where he was an All-Star in 2002 and 2003, also winning two World Series titles.
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Cubs would likely receive a "lower tier pitching prospect", with the deal pending Soriano's waiver.
Once completed, the Soriano deal would be the second high-profile trade by the Cubs this week. On Monday, Chicago shipped starting pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers for three minor league players and either one or two players to be named later.
Soriano is hitting .254/.287/.467 this season. The outfielder would add some much-needed power to a Yankees lineup that has been without Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson for nearly the entire season. New York is hoping to have Jeter back soon, following his latest stint on the 15-day DL.