The Yankees have officially acquired Alfonso Soriano and $17.7 million from the Cubs in return for High-A right-handed pitching prospect Corey Black. Soriano is in the Yankees lineup tonight, batting fourth and playing left field. New York will be on the hook for $6.5 million owed to Soriano for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.
Since June 25th, Soriano has hit .273/.316/.682 with ten home runs and six doubles. In July alone, Soriano's eight home runs are more than the Yankees' hitters have hit combined (seven). No matter which way you slice it, Soriano's production as a right-handed hitter with power slots very nicely into a lineup that has struggled mightily to find right-handed production all season. For the year, Soriano has a 100 wRC+ and a lefty/righty split that puts him above-average against left-handers (112 wRC+ vs. LHP, 93 wRC+ vs. RHP). His best month of the season so far has been July with a 145 wRC+ and a .243/.299/.629 batting line.
No 40-man roster move was needed for Soriano, because the Yankees were currently playing with 39 players in anticipation of the return of Alex Rodriguez or Curtis Granderson. Thomas Neal has been sent down to Triple-A to make room on the 25-man roster.
The press release from the Yankees had this to say about Soriano:
Soriano, 37, hit .254 (92-for-362) with 47 runs, 24 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI in 93 games with the Cubs in 2013. He owns a .272 (1,989-for-7,305) career batting average with 1,093 runs, 458 doubles, 31 triples, 389 home runs and 1,086 RBI in 1,850 games over 15 Major League seasons with the Yankees (1999-2003), Texas Rangers (2004-05), Washington Nationals (2006) and Chicago Cubs (2007-13). His 54 career leadoff home runs trail only Rickey Henderson (81) for most in Major League history.
The San Pedro de Macoris, D.R., native was named to the All-Star team in seven consecutive seasons, playing for the American League from 2002-05 and the National League from 2006-08. He has also earned the Silver Slugger Award four times, once with the Yankees (2002), twice with Texas (2004-05) and once with the Nationals (2006).
In 2012, Soriano hit .262 (147-for-561) with 32 home runs and 108 RBI in 151 games for the Cubs, making just one error in 1,183.0 innings in the outfield. He joined David Ortiz and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last 11 full seasons (2002-12) and is on pace to reach the plateau again in 2013.
Originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on September 29, 1998, Soriano played in 501 games with the club, batting .284 (571-for-2,010) with 326 runs, 124 doubles, 98 home runs, 270 RBI and 121 stolen bases.
In 2002, Soriano hit .300 (209-for-696) with 128 runs, 51 doubles, 39 home runs, 102 RBI and 41 stolen bases, leading the American League in at-bats, runs scored and stolen bases. His 696 at-bats in 2002 mark the highest single-season total in franchise history and his 51 doubles rank third, trailing only Don Mattingly's 53 in 1986 and Lou Gehrig's 52 in 1927. His 209 hits and 39 home runs in 2002 are the most by any Yankees second baseman in a single season.
Welcome back, Soriano! Here's to getting you a ring.
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