Alfonso Soriano wasn’t shy last season in saying that he would veto a potential trade to the eventual World Series champion Giants, but he hasn’t ruled out accepting a trade elsewhere.
According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, Soriano said today that he has given the Cubs a list of “six or seven” teams where he’d be willing to be dealt assuming the club falls out of the race. The veteran outfielder is only willing to go somewhere where he’d feel “comfortable,” so each team on the list is from the “east” or the “center” of the country.
Soriano’s full no-trade clause might not even be the biggest obstacle in a potential deal, as he is still owed $36 million over the next two seasons. The Cubs would almost certainly have to pick up a significant portion of the tab in order to make a deal feasible.
Soriano, 37, batted .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs, 108 RBI and an .821 OPS in 151 games last season.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.