Yankees Close To Acquiring Alfonso Soriano

11:55pm: Soriano is taking a red-eye flight to New York, tweets Sullivan, though no deal has been announced yet.

8:58pm: Major League Baseball still needs to process the paperwork and the exchange of cash in the deal, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the deal isn't likely to happen tonight, as it's still pending Bud Selig's approval. The Cubs, according to Heyman, will pay more than half of the remaining money on Soriano's contract (Twitter links).

8:05pm: USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets that the two sides have agreed on which pitching prospect will be going to the Cubs, and a deal has nearly been finalized.

6:56pm: ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Cubs are likely to receive a lower-tier pitching prospect for Soriano and that they will eat the majority of the money remaining on Soriano's contract. The two sides are waiting for the formal waiving of Soriano's no-trade clause (Twitter links).

6:33pm: Alfonso Soriano has been scratched from the Cubs' lineup tonight because he is close to being traded to the Yankees, Cubs manager Dale Sveum confirmed to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Sullivan adds that Sveum referred to the trade as "99 percent done."

Reports of a Soriano deal between the Yankees and Cubs first surfaced earlier this week, but general manager Jed Hoyer shot them down, calling them "premature." This time, however, Cubs president Theo Epstein has told Sveum that a deal is nearly complete, as noted by MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter). Soriano, who can refuse any trade due to a full no-trade clause (he's also a 10-and-5 player at this point), confirmed yesterday that he would be open to joining the Yankees.

Soriano, 37, would be joining the team with which he broke into the Major Leagues back in 1999. The Dominican native played with the Bombers from 1999-2003 before being traded to the Rangers along with Joaquin Arias for Alex Rodriguez. In 383 plate appearances for the Cubs this season, Soriano is batting .254/.287/.467 with 17 home runs.

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