Who says you can’t go home? After about a week of various developments being thrown our way, the New York Yankees have reunited with their former second baseman, Alfonso Soriano. Early today, the Yankees and Chicago Cubs struck a deal that sent Soriano to New York, and a few low-level prospects including pitcher Corey Black over to Chicago.
Soriano will bring a much-needed offensive boost to the Yankees lineup, which, due to injuries, has been lacking power all year.
On the season so far, Soriano is batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He will be the Yankees’ solution to their lack of right-handed hitting power, something that they have so desperately needed.
Soriano started his career with the Yankees in 1999, but wasn’t a full-time player until 2001, where he hit .268 with 18 homers and 77 RBIs. In the years to follow, Sori would emerge as a very good power bat, hitting at least 20 home runs in every season up to this point. It’s very pleasing to see that his home run numbers have remained steady over the years. At the age of 37, you would normally expect them to drop dramatically, but Soriano is still jacking them out of the park. As a righty, it will be harder for him to aim for the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, but he will probably try anyway.
Soriano was traded away to the Texas Rangers along with Joaquin Arias in early 2004 for Alex Rodriguez. He spent a few years there and then was traded to the Washington Nationals prior to the 2006 season. He made headlines after he publicly showed his dismay at the Nationals wanting him to make him an outfielder, which they did. He spent one year there and then signed a mega-deal with the Cubs.
Speaking of the Cubs, it should be noted that they will be eating a majority of the money still owed to Soriano.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted out a scary statistic this morning, that shows just how much Soriano is needed in New York:
Alfonso Soriano has 10 homers since June 28. The Yankees have 8.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 26, 2013
The only player that this really doesn’t bode well for is Travis Hafner, who will now most likely be out of a job. Soriano is a below-average fielder, so the Yankees will want to put him in at DH. Since Hafner has struggled mightily since his hot April, the Yankees would really have no reason to keep him around.
I get the feeling that this will not be the only trade that the Yankees make. With the trade deadline a few days away, there are still some glaring holes in this team, so some minor moves will probably be made by Brian Cashman & Co.
Soriano took the red-eye flight to New York earlier this morning, and should be in the lineup for the game against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.