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).
The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.
The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.
The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.
Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.