Sep 20, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Alfonso Soriano (12) hits an infield single against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alfonso Soriano Will Be a Bigger Key For Yanks Than People Think


 

In 2004, the Yankees were faced with a very tough decision. A rising star second baseman named Alfonso Soriano was being considered as a trade asset for a blockbuster deal that involved some super star at the time from the Texas Rangers named Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees really wanted to keep Soriano. However, there was this young, talented second baseman through the Yankees farm system who they thought could replace Soriano by the name of Robinson Cano. So all in all, when the deal happened, the Yankees actually benefited from the trade.

Yes, I know about A-Rod’s scandal and Cano leaving the Yankees for more money, but recently after the trade happened, the Yankees were pretty successful including a World Series Title in 2009. But what if that trade never happened? Would the Yankees have won that World Series between that time period or more? Would Cano have ever worn the pinstripes? Would A-Rod’s scandal still have occurred? All questions that Yankees fans ponder over.

Fast forward now though to 2014, Cano is gone, A-Rod is suspended, and the Yankees have made many off season moves to bolster their roster. However, an addition that happened last year, could make a quiet impact this year. Alfonso Soriano is back with the Yankees. He will be making 5 million dollars this year from the Yankees who received him in a trade last year from the Cubs for Single A pitcher Corey Black. The last time Soriano played with the Yankees he was a second baseman. Now, the 38 year old veteran is in the outfield. He is capable of playing right or left field.

Soriano will impact the game more with his bat than his glove. He has lost a lot of his speed to track down fly balls and steal bases, but the swing and power at the plate are still there. When he is in the lineup either as an outfielder or a designated hitter, Soriano will probably be placed in the 6th or 7th spot in the order. This is key because these spots have been known for huge RBI opportunities especially in late game situations. If Soriano can hit around .270 to .280, I think the Yankees can have a very balanced attack in their lineup top to bottom.

Soriano also brings that veteran presence to the clubhouse. He has experience playing in the Bronx in front of thousands of Yankee fans who can be very, at times unruly. He can pass this knowledge down, not just to younger guys, but guys who are not used to playing in New York, guys like Brian McCann or Masahiro Tanaka.

Alfonso has not played in the spring yet. Panic is not necessary though, as he is battling the flu. Manager Jo Girardi stated, “We don’t feel like he’s quite at full strength, and we don’t want to run him out there”.  Hopefully, when he is 100 percent he can make an impact with the Bronx Bombers.

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Tags: Alfonso Soriano New York Yankees

  • Thomas Katona

    The only problem with Soriano is that he chases breaking balls out of the strike zone. He might be good for 20 homers depending on how much he plays.

    • artie999

      I believe if he’s healthy that he will play as close to every day thanks to the DH, and given that the Yanks face the most left handed pitching and he’s protected in a very good lineup, I don’t see wht he can’t hit 35 HRs and 80 – 100 RBIs. Remember, this guy is ALWAYS swinging for the fences and he loves playing for the Yanks.

      • Thomas Katona

        Good comment artie, looking back at last year iam remembering the extra effort & play’s he made in left field. I would love to see him have a break out season I always liked him as a player he always shows he wants to play hard, even stole a few bases. The teams old still but there a different type of players! So far it looks pretty dam good.

        • Thomas Katona

          Also iam glad yanks didn’t grab Santana they don’t need another guy that may not have the gas left in his tank when he might have been needed.

        • artie999

          I just wish the Yanks had “finished” the off-season job. For only 2M we could have had Reynolds ( 25 HRs and 85+ ) to play 3rd every day and, sad to say, more than a little 1st as well. And sign an elite closer or, at least, another elite 8th inning guy. Last year the Yanks led theAL in winning one run games, but they don’t have the NUCLEAR pen they had last year. Rivera not replaced, Logan repkaced with an inferior specialist, Jaba not replaced at all… I know they’ll score far more runs but holding a lead late is all important. At least Jeter looks OK