Soriano to seek Cubs' permission to play winter ball

Updated: November 25, 2006, 5:44 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Alfonso Soriano wants to warm up for his Chicago Cubs debut by playing for his hometown team in the Dominican winter league.

"I'm going to ask permission to play for the Eastern Stars when I get back to Chicago for the press conference where they're going to introduce me next week," the slugger told The Associated Press on Friday after arriving in the Caribbean country.

Soriano's new eight-year, $136 million with the Cubs is the fifth-richest in major league history.

If he gets permission to suit up, Soriano would join New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Los Angeles outfielder Matt Kemp on the Stars. The team from San Pedro de Macoris trails the first-place Cibao Giants by 4½ games.

Soriano said he would keep working out as an outfielder but is willing to consider a return to second base, the position he played before joining the Washington Nationals before last season.

"I know that Chicago already has Mark DeRosa at second base, but if they want me to play second, I will," he said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press