Hoyer calls Soriano-to-Yankees rumor 'premature'

Hoyer calls Soriano-to-Yankees rumor 'premature'
July 23, 2013, 11:00 am
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Tony Andracki

Just hours after "Garza Watch" finally ended with the Cubs dealing veteran pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers, rumors started popping up that the Yankees were close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano.

[RELATED: After Cubs deal Garza, is Soriano up next?]

However, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer hopped on Mike Ferrin's 'Power Alley' show on MLB Network Radio and said talks were not as far along as the New York Post report indicated.

"Very premature," Hoyer said. "We've had some discussions with different teams about Sori. There's nothing close at all.

[RELATED: Is Soriano a Hall of Famer?]

"That was one of those rumors you wake up to and you're like 'oh, that's interesting. I didn't know we had done that.' It's not nearly as advanced as those reports made it seem."

Soriano was linked with the San Francisco Giants last summer, but ultimately employed his 10-and-5 rights and vetoed a trade to the Bay Area.

[MORE: Cubs swing for the fences in Garza deal]

This season, Hoyer said the Cubs are handling things a bit different with the veteran slugger.

"Last year, we took things to him on an individual basis when teams asked about him," Hoyer said. "This year, we'll probably sit down with Sori about his thoughts. He's got 10-and-5; he has the earned right to veto a deal.

"We're not going to push him in any direction, but we'll certainly give him some of the teams that have inquired on him and let him make that decision himself."

With Garza gone, the focus is now on who the Cubs will trade next. Soriano, 37, is still owed roughly $25 million and won't become a free agent until after the 2014 season.

After a slow start, he got on one of his patented hot streaks right before the All-Star break and currently sits at .256/.286/.471 on the season with 17 homers, 51 RBI, 46 runs and 24 doubles while notching double-digit steals for the first time since 2008.

[RELATED: What does Garza deal mean for Samardzija's long-term future?]

Even if the Cubs can't find a suitor for Soriano, they have a number of other guys drawing interest from around the league, including left-handed reliever James Russell and veteran outfielders Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus, though the latter is still rehabbing from a shoulder injury.

"As far as other players, we'll certainly be active and have a lot of discussions with teams," Hoyer said on MLB Network Radio. "We've had a disappointing season, but certainly we've had some pretty good individual performances.

"Some of those players have been asked about and we'll continue to have those discussions. If things make sense for the future, we'll pull the trigger."