The Cubs ate a lot of Carlos Zambrano’s contract when he went to the Marlins just to be rid of him and they are willing to do the same thing with Alfonso Soriano, reports Jon Heyman: specifically, $26 million of the $36 million Soriano is owed over the next two seasons.
The catch: you gotta give the Cubs an actual prospect.
Which might be tempting for a lot of teams, depending on how good the prospect is. Soriano hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI in 151 games this past season for Chicago. And while he’s not likely to repeat those numbers again in 2013, some power and durability in left field or at DH for $5 million a year is quite a bargain these days.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.