Cubs GM Jim Hendry said today on MLB Network Radio on SIRIUS XM that speculation about releasing Alfonso Soriano is unfounded.
"Never been a thought to it," Hendry told host Jim Memolo. "No. Those things are speculated by probably people in your profession, not ours."
ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wrote yesterday that he thinks there's a 50-50 chance the Cubs release Soriano before his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season. It's not at all surprising to see Hendry deny that the Cubs have given any thought to releasing the left fielder, who will make $90MM over the course of the next five years. But even if no one in the Cubs front office has considered releasing Soriano, they may have to at some point.
Soriano, 34, hit .275/.329/.519 with 110 homers in the three years preceding his contract with the Cubs. In the three-plus years since, he as a .274/.327/.506 line with 83 homers. Soriano's batting line is similar, but his power has dropped off since joining the Cubs, he's no longer the stolen base threat he once was, and his outfield defense was poor last year, according to UZR.