The New York Yankees are in desperate need of offense, which has lead them to reacquire an old name that many fans will remember from 10 years ago when he was an up-and-coming slugger in the league.
George King of the New York Post was the first to break the news late Monday night that the Yankees are closing in on a deal that would land them outfielder Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs in exchange for a mid-level prospect.
“In dire need of a bat with thump and an indication the Yankees may believe that Alex Rodriguez isn’t going to play this season, the toothless Bombers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, The Post has learned. According to a person familiar with the talks, the Cubs will pay the bulk of what is left on Soriano’s contract. He makes $18 million this year and the same for next season.”
With Soriano making $18 million in 2013 and $18 million in 2014, the Cubs and GM Jed Hoyer would pay a major chunk of the deal, similar to what the team did back in March when they traded for Vernon Wells; a trade that has the Los Angeles Angels paying most of the deal.
Soriano is currently hitting .256 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, but had success when he played five seasons with the Yankees before being dealt in February of 2004 to the Texas Rangers that landed them Alex Rodriguez. Soriano has played for the Rangers, Washington Nationals and the Cubs.
The Yankees need for offense was in extreme need after they were shut out on Monday night in an embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Rangers, a ballpark that is known for offense, but the Yankees bats have been very quiet due to injuries and older players declining.
Wells is one of them, who is hitting just .238 for the Yankees after getting off to such a hot start for the team. Travis Hafner, another veteran who once started out hitting over .300, is now hitting .210 and is in danger of being released from the team.
With Soriano likely now headed to the Bronx, he can play left field as well as serve as the team’s DH when needed and give the offense a much needed jolt. One year ago, Soriano hit 32 home runs and 108 RBI for the Cubs, who are in selling mode at the trade deadline. Earlier on Monday, the Cubs traded pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers for three prospects.
When Soriano last played for the Yankees, he was their second basemen, but because of his defensive skills, he was better suited to play in the outfield, which is what the Nationals did when they switched him from the infield to outfield in 2006. With Rodriguez’s possible suspension from MLB for his involvement in Biogenesis, the move for Soriano makes even more sense as the team will need firepower for the second half of the season.
Before the 2007 season, Soriano signed an eight-year, $136 million deal with the Cubs in free agency, a deal he still has less than two years left on.
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