Cubs unlikely to deal Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Marmol this month
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com August 22, 2012 8:00PM
The Cubs’ Bryan LaHair (right) gets a fist bump from teammate Steve Clevenger after his seventh-inning home run Wednesday. | Getty Images
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:53AM
MILWAUKEE — With nine days left to trade players during the August waiver period, it’s looking less likely the Cubs will make another deal before the offseason. That increases the likelihood outfielder Alfonso Soriano and/or closer Carlos Marmol will open next season with the team.
The Cubs say they’re still open to making a move, but they have nothing in the works.
‘‘That’s good,’’ Marmol said about the lack of buzz involving his name. ‘‘I don’t want to go anywhere.’’
Soriano, who has two years and $36 million left on his contract, and Marmol, who has one year and $9.8 million left on his deal, have performed well in recent months and might draw some interest during the offseason.
But their values might be better leveraged against the 2013 trade deadline, especially in the case of Soriano, who has full no-trade rights and might need stronger assurances he’s joining a playoff-caliber team to waive them. Soriano already turned down a potential trade to the San Francisco Giants.
Soriano and Marmol reportedly cleared waivers this month.
After losing their fourth consecutive game Wednesday, the Cubs are back on pace to lose 100 games for the first time in 46 years and for the third time in franchise history. They must go 16-23 in their final 39 games to avoid it.
‘‘Everybody knows the 100-losses thing is obviously a [benchmark] number,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘You’re still going from day to day, and you’re not really worried about the final outcome of your record as much as winning that day. That’s the bottom line.’’
The Cubs finished 59-103 in 1962 and 1966.
‘‘Obviously, nobody wants to lose 100,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘But we have to just plug away every single day to grind it out.’’
Bryan LaHair, the Cubs’ feel-good All-Star story of the first half, has struggled to adjust to a bench role in recent weeks. On Wednesday, though, he hit his first home run since July 4.
LaHair had been in a 4-for-48 slide with 18 strikeouts before his seventh-inning solo shot against Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
‘‘It’s been a while, I know that,’’ LaHair said. ‘‘I’m just battling right now and working hard. That one felt good. That showed hard work will pay off. I’ll take it.’’
With the emergence of Anthony Rizzo at first base and the promotion of outfielder Brett Jackson from Class AAA Iowa, LaHair has been bumped to the bench and back into a position of proving himself heading into next season.
He said he thinks he can earn regular playing time again by next season.
‘‘I just want to be in the big leagues,’’ he said. ‘‘I want the opportunity, and whatever opportunity comes my way, I’m going to try to do the best I can.’’
The reshaping of the Cubs’ player-development and scouting departments continued with the firing of six scouts, including former White Sox outfielder Richie Zisk among four from a
16-man pro-scouting operation.
The three other pro scouts let go were Joe Housey, Tom Shafer and Tom Bourque. Regional crosschecker Charlie Aliano and amateur area scout Rick Schroeder also were fired.
Sveum said the Cubs are committed to keeping winless right-hander Chris Volstad in the rotation for the rest of the season.
† Soriano, the Cubs’ only veteran run-producer, got a day off Wednesday in anticipation of 20 games in 20 days starting Friday.