Alfonso Soriano: Yankees interested

PHOENIX -- Chicago Cubs officials have told Alfonso Soriano's agent that the New York Yankees are interested in trading for him, the outfielder said Tuesday.

"My agent sent me a text message telling me the Yankees called and he said [the Cubs] called him," Soriano said. "If they are getting closer, I will think about it. The president [Theo Epstein] told my agent there was nothing close yet. If we get something close, I want to have time to think about it."

The Cubs had two deals last season that Soriano turned down. The veteran has 10-5 veto rights on any proposed deal. Any player with 10 years in the major leagues and five years with the same team retains veto control.

The Yankees "are not the first team to call, but they are the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away," Epstein said.

Epstein clarified his position Tuesday and said he would meet with Soriano in the next 24 hours.

"I will sit down with [Soriano] and kind of go through some of his options with him," Epstein said. "There is a process to these types of trades. We are still somewhat early in the process."

Epstein said he would lay out certain factors for Soriano to consider.

"I will align his options, from exercising his no-trade right to the various teams that have interest in him, and we will go from there. He has served a great purpose here, mentoring a lot of our young players. At the same time, there comes a time when you can go into a pennant race toward the end of your career that is appealing. There also comes a time when it can afford other young players an opportunity to play here. There is a natural time of transition that arises."

Soriano has $25 million left on his eight-year, $136-million contract that expires after the 2014 season. The 37-year-old Dominican native is 11 hits shy of 2,000 career hits and 11 home runs short of 400.