Yankees, Cubs Have Talked Soriano

6:39pm: Soriano tells reporters that the Cubs contacted his agent to tell him that the Yankees had interest, but since no deal is close, there has been no discussion of waiving his no-trade clause.  Soriano hasn't spoken directly to the Cubs front office and is "open to anything" trade-wise, though he wants to make sure he'll still be able to play every day on a potential new team (all links are to the Twitter feed of Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times).  The Yankees are the only team that has made contract with Soriano's agent, so they may be his only trade option (via Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune).

1:48pm: In an interview with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio (audio link), Cubs GM Jed Hoyer called reports of a deal being near "very premature." Hoyer adds that there is "nothing close at all."

The Cubs have discussed Soriano with multiple teams, and Hoyer and Epstein plan to fly to Arizona to speak with the outfielder in order to gauge his interest in the teams that have inquired about him.

10:31am: A Cubs source tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that the two sides are indeed negotiating a Soriano trade, but a deal is not close at this time. The conversations to this point have been closer to preliminary, according to Sullivan, though he notes that both sides appear motivated to get something worked out.

8:11am: The Cubs scouted 24-year-old Triple-A right-hander Chase Whitley over the weekend, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Whitley has a 3.52 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 38 1/3 innings this season.

Sherman adds that right-handed relief is one area where the Yankees feel they're deep in young. In addition to Whitley, they have Preston Claiborne and Shawn Kelley at the Major League level and prospects Dellin Betances, Danny Burawa and Tommy Kahnle on the way.

7:47am: The Cubs likely consulted with Soriano before engaging in serious discussions with the Yankees, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that Soriano recently told FOX Sports that he would accept the right deal to the right team. His article also has quotes of high praise from teammate David DeJesus and manager Dale Sveum about the 37-year-old Soriano's work ethic.

1:10am: The Yankees and Cubs are nearing a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano to the New York, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. Soriano is owed roughly $24.9MM over the remainder of his contract (roughly $6.9MM in 2013 and $18MM in 2014), and King reports that the Cubs would pick up the majority of the remaining tab in exchange for a mid-level prospect.

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 378 plate appearances for the Cubs this season, Soriano is batting .256/.286/.471 with 17 home runs.

Soriano, of course, would have to waive the same no-trade clause that he enacted a year ago when the Cubs attempted to trade him to the Giants. Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have been exceptionally busy of late, with the Cubs trading Matt Garza to the Rangers earlier today. They also traded Scott Hairston to the Nationals and Scott Feldman to the Orioles earlier this month.

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