Soriano to Yankees “99 percent done”

Outfielder Alfonso Soriano revealed Wednesday that he would waive his no-trade clause in order to join the Yankees, and it appears that deal is on the verge of taking place.

Soriano was a late scratch from the Cubs’ lineup Thursday night. According to’s Carrie Muskat, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein asked manager Dale Sveum to sit Soriano because a trade with the Yankees is “close to being done.”

Sveum told reporters that Soriano’s return to the Bronx, where he broke into the Majors in 1999, is “something he felt comfortable with.”

Soriano played for the Yankees from 1999-2003 before being traded to the Rangers in February 2004 for Alex Rodriguez. The 37-year-old left fielder has been with the Cubs since 2007, when he was signed to an eight-year, $136 million contract.

This year, Soriano is batting .254/.287/.467 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs in 93 games. Soriano’s contract runs through the end of next season, when he is scheduled to earn $18 million. It has been speculated that the Cubs likely will have to cover part of Soriano’s remaining salary in any trade.

According to a Twitter post from ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cubs are set to receive a “lower-tier pitching prospect” from the Yankees.

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