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Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano part of more trade speculation

Alfonso Soriano Cubs connects for double third inning Wrigley Field Friday May 4 2012 Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs connects for a double in the third inning at Wrigley Field Friday, May 4, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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MESA, Ariz. — Alfonso Soriano’s name came up last month when New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson got hurt. Carlos Marmol’s name came up last week in an unfounded media report. And pundits already are speculating that the Boston Red Sox could be in the market for a DH (read: Soriano) with David Ortiz’s injured Achilles.

“Yeah, it’s going to continue,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of trade rumors dogging his suddenly small-market-looking club.

“I’m sure the trade rumors are going to continue whenever somebody gets injured in somebody else’s camp and they need that player, especially when it’s a big market. So, yeah, you see all that kind of stuff continuing.”

Of course, if the Cubs weren’t perceived as an early-stage rebuilding team looking to dump short-term assets for long-term assets, the rumors might not arise so automatically or persistently. Or maybe if they get off to a strong start.

“There’s no reason even dwelling on how and when it would stop,” Sveum said. “That’s just part of the media. It’s part of the job description, too. There’s people that are going to be labeled trade bait, or somebody wants them or they fit that role, so it’s just there.

“That’s what players have to deal with. That’s what organizations have to deal with when that kind of stuff comes up.’’

Baez keeps boppin’

Top prospect Javy Baez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and left-hander Chris Rusin started and pitched three scoreless innings, but that was about it for the highlights Saturday as the Cubs fell to the Cleveland Indians 9-2 in a Cactus League game at HoHoKam Stadium.

When Baez followed the homer with a single in the third, it gave him four consecutive hits over two games.

The Cubs have lost five consecutive games and eight of nine.



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