Phillies Discussed Alfonso Soriano Deal With Cubs

5:25pm: The deal appears to be a longshot to happen, according to Jayson Stark of (via Twitter).  The Phillies were uninterested in Soriano when first presented with the possibility but warmed up to it enough to consider it.

4:31pm: The Phillies have discussed a deal with the Cubs that would net them Alfonso Soriano in exchange for Domonic Brown, according to Jon Heyman of  However, the Phillies might be more inclined to sign a free agent, such as Cody Ross or someone else.

The Cubs are believed to be willing to pay $26MM of the $36MM remaining on Soriano's deal if they can get quality prospects in return.  The Phillies like Soriano offensively but have reservations about his defensive play, despite his improvement last season.  Soriano, who will turn 37 next month, hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs in 615 plate appearances.

Ross would be a better fit for the Phillies' budget than fellow free agent outfielders Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton.  Earlier today we learned that the Mets have kicked the tires on Ross, but would be unwilling to make a commitment to him beyond two years.  The Phillies, Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles have all been linked to Ross so far this offseason.

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