Alfonso Soriano pulled off quite the rebound this season, hitting .262/.322/.499 with 32 homers and 108 RBI. Still, he’s not sure about his future with the Cubs and he’s weighing retirement once his contract ends, CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney reports.
“It depends how long,” Soriano said when asked if he wants to stay with the Cubs. “If they want to rebuild for next year, I’ll be here. But if they want to take longer than two years, then they have to think about moving me out to another team that can win quickly. I have two more years on the contract and maybe I retire after that. I just want to have one more shot to go to the World Series before I retire.”
Soriano could have had that shot this year, but he said he wasn’t going to waive his no-trade clause when the Giants showed interest in him. He’s believed to prefer the East Coast if traded.
Soriano is still owed another $36 million, and while he seemed rejuvenated this year, there’s no way the Cubs could move him without eating a portion of what he’s owed. It’s something they are willing to do, though. Given the lack of quality corner outfielders available in free agency, there might be a couple of teams interested in taking a chance on Soriano come December or January.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.