ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that Alfonso Soriano has told the Cubs he will not accept a trade to the Giants.
The main Soriano rumors of late have placed him with Ryan Dempster in a possible deal to the Dodgers. The Giants are looking for outfield help with Gregor Blanco fading, but Soriano lacks the defensive range they prefer from their outfielders. They’ve been focused on Philadelphia’s Hunter Pence, according to reports.
Soriano has a full no-trade clause, so he can say no to any scenario he pleases. He’d probably prefer to go to a park that better suits his power stroke than AT&T.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.