PHOENIX (AP) — Chicago players were upset about the news of teammate Alfonso Soriano's impending trade to the Yankees, and manager Dale Sveum thought that played a part in the Cubs' 3-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Soriano said goodbye to his teammates and got set to hop on a redeye to New York, where he'll stand by until the deal is made official.
"I don't know what the Cubs get, but I'm happy and think they are happy, too," said Soriano, who spent almost seven full seasons with the Cubs. "They are getting something back and I am happy going back to New York, where I started my career.
"The thing that was more difficult for me was leaving my teammates, my family," Soriano added. "It's baseball and you have to do what is best for the team and me. I have been traded before and I know what happens. Now I have to keep moving and do my job in New York."
Sveum said filling the void left by Soriano will be difficult, and compared him to a former Milwaukee Brewers teammate, Hall of Famer Robin Yount.
"He cares to win, prepares every day, prepares to make himself a better player," Sveum said. "Robin is the only other guy that I have been around that did the same thing every single day."
The Cubs sent out a lineup Thursday lacking offensive punch, and it showed in their struggle against Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley and the bullpen.
Chicago scored its only run when Wellington Castillo doubled in Cole Gillespie, Soriano's replacement in left field, in the seventh inning.
The Diamondbacks took the early lead when Aaron Hill's first-inning double into the left-field corner plated Adam Eaton from first base. Hill hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth, leading off the inning with a blast to left field.