Alfonso Soriano: Staying or going is 50-50
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org August 3, 2012 9:46PM
Updated: September 5, 2012 6:52PM
LOS ANGELES — Alfonso Soriano said Friday that he hasn’t been put on waivers yet.
And whether that’s an indication of how tough it might be to find a trade market for him this month, Soriano said he’s in ‘‘no rush’’ to be traded, a process that requires his consent.
‘‘It’s 50-50 right now for going or staying,’’ said Soriano, who is sure at some point this month to be put on 48-hour waivers and will almost certainly clear because of the $42 million left on his contract.
‘‘I feel comfortable here. The only thing that makes me [consider] going to another team [is the chance to win]. But I’m in no rush. I feel comfortable [in Chicago], but the only negative thing now is losing and that they look like they want to build a young team. We’ll see what happens.’’
Soriano, who gets his waiver information from a friend with access to Major League Baseball’s internal network, consented to a possible move to the Los Angeles Dodgers and declined a possible move to the San Francisco Giants.
Those were the only possibilities he was presented with, he said, and both of those teams have filled their outfield needs since then.
Why the Dodgers? He doesn’t even particularly like the West Coast, he said, but was swayed by ties with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and bench coach Trey Hillman from their days together with the New York Yankees early in his career.
The Dodgers’ front-office aggressiveness this season and young core also were factors, he said.
Unless the Detroit Tigers make a push this month that they didn’t in July to upgrade their outfield, the market could be pretty slim for Soriano.
‘‘We’ll see what happens on waivers,’’ Soriano said.
Jackson on hold
After debating in recent days about whether to call up former first-round draft picks Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters from Class AAA Iowa before rosters expand in September, the Cubs decided to push back the decision.
‘‘We haven’t determined anything,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘The development clock is kind of where we want it, but it’s still a decision of when. And with the evaluation of minor-leaguers, the development is sometimes to get to the big leagues as well and start developing here, too.’’
The concerns are clear in both cases. Jackson leads the minor leagues with 154 strikeouts in 459 plate appearances. Vitters, who looks good at the plate, hasn’t shown he’s a big-league fielder at third base yet.
‘‘Now it’s just a matter of when we decide to do it this month or just wait until September,’’ Sveum said.
If the Cubs trade Soriano, that could make the decision easier on Jackson, a corner outfielder.
One benefit to calling him up would be a chance for hitting coach James Rowson and Sveum — a longtime hitting coach — to work first-hand with him while he sees big-league pitching.
‘‘Those are things that definitely come into play,’’ Sveum said.
Darwin Barney entered Friday’s late game in Los Angeles looking to tie Ryne Sandberg’s franchise record of 90 consecutive games at second base without an error.
◆ Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who might have been considered a fallback option for Tuesday’s rotation spot if Matt Garza can’t go, has been put on the Class AAA disabled list.
◆ William Shatner threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game Friday as the Dodgers staged ‘‘Star Trek’’ night.