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.
Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.
Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.
Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.
Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.
Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.