Alfonso Soriano wasn’t shy last season in saying that he would veto a potential trade to the eventual World Series champion Giants, but he hasn’t ruled out accepting a trade elsewhere.
According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, Soriano said today that he has given the Cubs a list of “six or seven” teams where he’d be willing to be dealt assuming the club falls out of the race. The veteran outfielder is only willing to go somewhere where he’d feel “comfortable,” so each team on the list is from the “east” or the “center” of the country.
Soriano’s full no-trade clause might not even be the biggest obstacle in a potential deal, as he is still owed $36 million over the next two seasons. The Cubs would almost certainly have to pick up a significant portion of the tab in order to make a deal feasible.
Soriano, 37, batted .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs, 108 RBI and an .821 OPS in 151 games last season.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.