Before the final game of the season, Alfonso Soriano said he's ready for the trade rumors to start this winter.

The next day, Cubs President Theo Epstein said he doesn't believe people "get an accurate picture of (Soriano) watching him across the field," lauding his work ethic and quiet leadership in the clubhouse.

"We're happy that he's here," Epstein said. "I think he makes us a better organization."

So should we expect Soriano to be on the trade block again, or has the new regime come to believe Soriano can be part of the organization in the early stages of the rebuilding mode?

It probably depends on how much interest there is in Soriano, who led the team in home runs and RBIs while making great strides in his defensive play in left field.

The best chance of dealing Soriano is if an American League team wants to use him as a DH, though the Giants were interested at the trade deadline until Soriano declined to waive his no-trade rights, killing any chance of a deal.

"If teams pursue him in a trade, we'll consider it," Epstein said. "We'll see if it makes our future better, makes us a better organization going forward. But he's got value to us. He helps us win games, is protection in the lineup, and he's a great example for other younger players in the clubhouse to follow. So if we trade him, we're losing something, so we have to get something back in return to justify it.

"If that opportunity comes along and (a team) is very serious about acquiring him, then we'll go to him because he has 10-5 rights."