The New York Yankees have had a busy Sunday thus far. Shortly after acquiring Brandon McCarthy in exchange for the struggling Vidal Nuno, Mark Feinsand reports via Twitter that the Yankees have designated outfielder/ designated hitter Alfonso Soriano for assignment. The Yankees have recalled pitcher Bruce Billings from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a corresponding move.
The Yankees caught lightening in a bottle when they brought back Soriano from the Cubs at the trade deadline last season. Soriano spent the first five years of his career with the Yankees as one of baseball’s premier second baseman before being shipped to the Texas Rangers for a one Alex Rodriguez. After a ten year run split between the Rangers, Washington Nationals, and Chicago Cubs, the Yankees brought him back last July seemingly amid his career decline. To much surprise, Soriano finished the second half last season on fire, finishing with a .256 batting average while belting 17 home runs and amassing 51 RBI in just 58 games. Coming into the 2014 season as the starting DH, he quickly slumped and looked to be past his prime. Soriano’s second stint with the Bombers ends with a .221 batting average, six home runs, and 23 RBI.
The move clears space on the 25-man roster as well as the 40-man roster. Taking his place will be the 28-year old, right handed pitcher Bruce Billings. Billings was first drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2006 June Amateur draft and then Colorado Rockies in the 2007 draft. He spent the next few seasons bouncing around the minor leagues until signing with the Yankees at the end of the 2013 season. Billings started the year in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and made a brief appearance with the Yankees in the Bronx before being sent right back down allowing four runs over his four innings pitched. He hopes his second time around is more successful. Billings has a 4-5 record this season in the minors with a 5.22 ERA and a mere 44 strikeouts over 58.2 innings pitched. For Billings, who is running out of options and time, it is the perfect time to make a name for himself with the Yankees depleted pitching staff.