Less playing time might sway Alfonso Soriano away
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 29, 2013 11:32PM
The facts: 3:10 p.m., CSN, 720-AM.
The starters: Edwin Jackson (3-10, 5.84 ERA) vs. Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.30).
Updated: August 2, 2013 7:19AM
SEATTLE — If the Cubs are trying to push Alfonso Soriano toward the door with the suggestion Friday of less playing time — and maybe even get him to desire a trade — Soriano isn’t biting. At least not yet.
The seven-time All-Star said he still wants to be in Chicago and is open to getting regular days off in the second half of the season if the Cubs are out of the race and want to give at-bats to players they consider part of their future.
But he didn’t dismiss the possibility that significantly reduced playing time could make him more willing to waive his full no-trade rights, though a reduction might get put on hold after he homered the last two days, including a two-run shot in the 11th inning to beat the Mariners 5-3 on Saturday.
“I don’t think about it. Let’s wait and see if that happens, and I’ll think about it,” said Soriano, the Cubs’ designated hitter the last two days after sitting the previous two games in Milwaukee. “I don’t want to put my mind on something that hasn’t happened yet. The front office has their job, and I have my job.”
Soriano said he hasn’t spoken with team president Theo Epstein, who is traveling with the team, about his future and isn’t sure he will.
“I don’t expect nothing,” he said. “But who knows?”
Soriano, who turned down a potential trade to the San Francisco Giants last summer before talks had a chance to go far, has another year after this left on his eight-year, $136 million deal.
Before the series opener Friday, manager Dale Sveum said that David DeJesus’ projected return next month from the disabled list could mean a platoon-like rotation involving Soriano. Sveum said he likes having Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic in the lineup. Soriano is 5-for-9 since then.
After the game Friday, Soriano said “it’s not bad” getting time off at age 37, despite his long-held desire to play every day.
“For sure if we had a better record I’ll be in there [needing] to play every day,” he said Saturday. “But if it’s not like that, it’s not a bad idea getting rest and giving the opportunity to another guy that’s coming [up].”
Sweeney, whose two-way production has Sveum calling him part of the Cubs’ future, will be out at least a few days after he bruised his ribs crashing into the center-field wall to make a catch in the third. X-rays were negative.
Sweeney, the regular center fielder since DeJesus went on the DL after crashing into a wall
June 14 at Citi Field, will be monitored the next two days to determine the severity of the injury.
He entered the game hitting .297 with an .877 OPS. He flied out to center in his only at-bat.
Jeff Samardzija had his third would-be victory snatched by the bullpen after pitching seven impressive innings and handing over a 3-2 lead.
Samardzija gave up a homer and two doubles in a two-run second, but he didn’t allow a Mariner to reach second base against him the rest of the start. He retired 16 of the final 19 he faced.