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.