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Soriano accepts possibility he’ll share playing time
SEATTLE – Even on a night he seemed to provide an emphatic retort on the field, Alfonso Soriano seemed resigned, if not agreeable, to sharing playing time in the second half of the season if the Cubs wind up with a logjam of productive outfielders.
“He’s the manager. I like to play, but sometimes at my age it’s good to rest,” said Soriano, who homered and singled Friday night against the Mariners in his first game back after two days off in Milwaukee.
Manager Dale Sveum said before the game that with the anticipated return next month of David DeJesus from the disabled list, Soriano could see reduced playing time considering relative newcomers Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic have looked good in the field and at the plate.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Sveum said. “A couple of them might be part of our future – left-handed hitters that are athletes, two-way players that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
Soriano, with one year after this left on his eight-year, $136 million contract, is specifically not part of the Cubs future. The Cubs attempted to trade him at the non-waiver deadline last year and are hopeful for enough of a hot streak from him in the next few weeks to raise interest from other teams.
As for how Soriano might be used in a crowded outfield the second half if he can’t be traded — or DeJesus can’t:
“We’ll work that out to figure out the playing time,” Sveum said.
Soriano, who has taken a fierce pride in playing every day throughout his career, took a different posture on the subject after Friday’s 5-4 loss to Seattle.
“He wants to do what’s best for the team,” Soriano, 37, said. “I’m happy with the way he handles the team. He’s the manager and he can do the best for the team.
“It’s not bad,” he added of possibly getting a couple days off a week in the second half, “especially those day games like we have in Chicago. Sometimes we play night games and next day it’s a day game.
“Obviously, I respect the manager, and I think whatever he does is best for the team.”
Soriano’s homer leading off the seventh inning Friday night was the 380th of his career, putting him alone at 64th on the all-time list, breaking a three-way tie with Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez.