Yankees close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from Cubs

Justin Edmonds

The Yankees are finally getting the bat that they were looking for.

The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees are close to a deal that would send outfielder Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Cubs' manager Dale Sveum confirmed to Sullivan that Soriano was scratched from tonight's lineup because the deal is "99 percent done", but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com cautions that the deal is unlikely to be completed tonight because it still needs formal approval from the commissioner's office. Sullivan also notes that Soriano is on a red-eye flight to New York in anticipation that the trade will become official sometime on Friday morning.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the sides have agreed on the player heading to Chicago, and the deal will be finalized either tonight or tomorrow morning. The Cubs will receive a lower-tier pitching prospect from the Yankees in the swap, according to Olney. The most likely candidate to be sent to Chicago is High-A right-hander Corey Black, who is on the Cubs' list of potential acquisitions, according to a source. Another source confirms that the Cubs had narrowed their choice down to two finalists--one unidentified player and one from the group of Black, Joel De La Cruz and Chase Whitley--and that the team had most likely chosen either Black, De La Cruz or Whitley in the deal. Because Black is definitely on the Cubs' wishlist of Yankees' prospects, he is the heavy favorite to be sent to Chicago for Soriano.

Black hasn't heard anything about his potential involvement in the trade, according to his personal Twitter account.

Chicago will pick up more than half of the $25 million remaining on Soriano's contract over the next two years, according to Heyman, meaning that the motive behind the deal is likely to gain some salary relief and give the aging Soriano a last chance at winning a championship. As reported this morning, the Yankees were among the teams on the list of acceptable destinations that Soriano gave the Cubs on Wednesday, and the sides have been working hard since Monday to get a deal done.

In four years with the Yankees from 1999 to 2003, Soriano hit .284 with 98 HR and 270 RBI before being shipped to the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez in February 2004. In fifteen major league seasons with the Yankees (1999-2003), Rangers (2004-2005), Nationals (2006) and Cubs (2007-2013), he is a career .273 hitter with 389 HR and 1,086 RBI.

The seven-time All-Star is hitting .259 with 17 HR and 51 RBI on the year with the Cubs.

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