It was an act that probably went unnoticed by Chicago Cubs fans. But it was an act that was no different to see left fielder Alfonso Soriano perform.
During Junior Lake‘s debut, there was a point where Lake made a base running blunder at third base. Lake was eventually thrown out and proceeded to the bench in the dugout. While in the dugout, Lake was approached by Soriano. There was no audio of the conversation, but it was clear that Soriano was mentoring the young outfielder. It was a scene that defined the professionalism that Soriano has shown throughout his tenure with the Cubs.
That professionalism will no longer be on display for the Cubs, at least, not by Soriano.
The Chicago Cubs are nearing completion of a trade that will send Soriano to the New York Yankees.
The Cubs’ front office approached Soriano with the potential deal to the Yankees on Tuesday, and out of respect, the Cubs’ left fielder was given the day off on Wednesday to clear his mind.
Initially, Soriano was in the Chicago Cubs’ starting lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Shortly after the lineups were posted, Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein advised manager Dale Sveum to pull Soriano from the lineup as a deal with the Yankees grew imminent. There has yet to be an announcement of a trade between the Cubs and Yankees, but there should be one within the next 24 hours.
It is fitting that Soriano is going out on a high-note. The high-note that is Soriano’s patented hot steak of the season. A streak that improve Soriano’s season totals to the point where the left fielder is now hitting .254/.287/.467/.754 to go along with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs.
As the case with Soriano during his time with the Cubs, the perception is always based on money. A perception that painted Soriano in the wrong picture as the result of his 8 year, $136 million dollar contract. Soriano is owed $24 million over the remainder of this season and next season, and it appears that Yankees will take on approximately $6 million.
But lets not remember Soriano for his contract.
Remember Soriano for the fact that he was not the arrogant outfielder that you see currently in Milwaukee; but for the professional baseball player that he is.