Cubs keeping “all options open” with Alfonso Soriano

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Now that Alfonso Soriano has “only” two more years remaining on his massive contract Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune asked Theo Epstein if that means he’s unlikely to be traded, but the Cubs president replied: “No, you have to leave all options open.”

Epstein was quick to note that Soriano now has the ability to veto any trade “so if he doesn’t want to go anywhere, he doesn’t have to.” However, he added that if a potential deal comes up the Cubs “will bring it to him” as a possibility for approval.

In other words, if Soriano has another decent season–he hit .262 with 32 homers and an .821 OPS last year–the Cubs will definitely be trying to cash him in for some value or at least clear some of his 2013-2014 money off the books.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.