Source: Orioles talked to Cubs about Soriano

Another day passed without any news from the warehouse, leaving me with little to do besides count the number of calls and text messages that went unreturned and sweeping up about 12 pounds of pine needles that fell off my Christmas tree as I carried it outside.

At least some of my energy wasn't wasted.

For what it's worth, I've heard from an industry source that the Orioles and Cubs discussed a trade involving Alfonso Soriano. It may have been a while ago and it may not have gone far - FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted yesterday that the Cubs couldn't find a match for Soriano after talking to "a few teams" - but that's the scuttlebutt.

ESPNChicago.com reported that the Cubs talked to "at least eight AL teams over the last six weeks" regarding Soriano, a clear signal that he's mostly viewed as a designated hitter.

I know what some of you are thinking, so I'll point out that Soriano started 153 games at second base with the Rangers in 2005, but has appeared in only four since that year - none of them as a starter. He's been playing left field, and not at a high level. He committed seven errors and posted a .965 fielding percentage in 128 games last season.

The Cubs gave Soriano an eight-year, $136 million contract in 2006 after he hit .277/.351/.560 with 41 doubles, 46 homers, 95 RBIs and 41 stolen bases in his only season with the Nationals.

Talk about buyer's remorse.

Soriano, who turns 36 on Saturday, hit .244/.289/.469 with two stolen bases last season, though new general manager Theo Epstein believes the 26 homers and 88 RBIs should entice teams looking for another bat.

Soriano's contract presents a separate set of challenges. It includes a full no-trade clause, and he's owed $54 million over the next three seasons.

The Orioles wouldn't take on much of it.

Back in 2006, Soriano became the first 40-40-40-player - home runs, stolen base and doubles - and appeared in his fifth straight All-Star Game. He's not that player anymore, but he might make a decent DH.

Maybe not for the Orioles, but the idea apparently has been floated, at least according to a Chicago-based source.

My lasting memory of Soriano always will be his tie-breaking home run off Curt Schilling in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

I was writing for The Sun in those days, and I filed my story after Yankees closer Mariano Rivera dispatched of the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the eighth inning. Anything to make life a little easier for the copy desk. And besides, Rivera wasn't going to blow that save. No t... a ... chance.

Well, you know the rest. The Diamondbacks pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, and Luis Gonzalez blooped a single into center field to complete the comeback and force me to rewrite my story in about 10 minutes.

Anything to make my life a little harder.

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