Alfonso Soriano is finally showing some signs of life lately, going 16-for-42 (.381) with six homers and four doubles in the last 10 games to bring his overall numbers toward respectability.
And since the Cubs have been looking to trade him for years now the subject is once again being talked about in Chicago, where Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Soriano is willing to waive his no-trade clause if a contender comes calling.
Or as Soriano phrased it:
I don’t want to be on this team if they don’t want me here. It’s kind of hard and selfish to think [that way]. If they want me to stay here, I’m going to stay here. But if they don’t want me to, the door is open.
Soriano added that it would have to be a “contender” for him to consider the move, but of course non-contenders aren’t going to trade for a 37-year-old left fielder with a .750 OPS owed another $9 million or so for this season and $18 million for next season. And to get any contenders interested the Cubs would no doubt have to eat a significant portion of that remaining money.
Soriano is hitting .263 with a .289 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage in 82 games overall, offering good power (13 homers, 22 doubles) and horrendous plate discipline (77 strikeouts, 10 walks).
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.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.