Theo Epstein doesn’t want it. Maybe Dan Duquette will.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers, the Cubs are willing to pay the “bulk” of the $54 milion that Alfonso Soriano is owed over the next three years in order to send him to Baltimore. It’d be the same journey once taken by another well-compensated Cubs outfielder: Sammy Sosa was traded to Baltimore in Feb. 2005 for Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mike Fontenot, with the Cubs kicking in part of the $17 million he was owed.
Soriano hit .244/.289/.469 with 26 homers and 88 RBI in 475 at-bats for the Cubs last season. He was better in 2010 but worse in 2009, and he hasn’t played in more than 147 games in any of his five years with the Cubs. It’s hard to imagine the Orioles would take him on as anything more than a $4 million-$5 million per year player, but even if the Cubs have to pay $35 million-$40 million of Soriano’s remaining salary, it could well be worth it just for the chance to move on.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.