According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the decision to acquire Alfonso Soriano did not come from Brian Cashman, but directly from ownership. When asked about the decision to make the trade, Cashman provided a vague yet telling explanation for the trade:
I would say we are in a desperate time. Ownership wants to go for it. I didn't want to give up a young arm [Corey Black]. But I understand the desperate need we have for offense. And Soriano will help us. The bottom line is this guy makes us better. Did ownership want him? Absolutely, yes. Does he make us better? Absolutely, yes. This is what Hal wants, and this is why we are doing it.
The Yankees are in fourth place just days away from the trade deadline and Hal Steinbrenner wanted to make a splash to help improve the team. He likely also wanted to take focus away from the $189 million budget plan that got them in this predicament in the first place.
This signing would mark the second Soriano that ownership has forced Cashman to sign after they signed Rafael Soriano for three years. It has also been said that Steinbrenner pushed for a two-year Ichiro Suzuki deal and prevented Cashman from re-signing Russell Martin. At this rate the amount of transactions mandated by ownership will out number the moves the actual general manager ordered.