2014 Statistics: 67 Games, 238 PA, 226/244/367, 6 HR, 23 RBI, -1.4 WAR
2014 Contract Status: Free Agent
After the Yankees acquired Alfonso Soriano last year for a second half run, he completely put the team on his back with a ridiculous run. In 58 games, Soriano hit 17 home runs and drove in 58 RBI, and almost single-handedly kept the Yankees in playoff contention. But that was then, and this is now, and 2014 was a complete nightmare for Soriano; so much of a nightmare that the Yankees had to finally bite the bullet and release him. It was a move that even they should admit took a lot longer than it should have.
Coming into 2014, Soriano was of course a year older, but the Yankees were hoping he could continue what he did in the second half of 2013 and provide some pop in the lineup. Soriano was expected to mainly be at DH with the occasional stint at right field. From the start, Soriano just didn't look like the guy who carried the team the past year and he looked like he was lost at the plate, swinging at anything and everything that came his way. It was actually quite difficult to watch Soriano, a major league player, take the hacks he did.
Beltran eventually injured his elbow which forced him into the DH role, which pushed Soriano into a part-time player role with Ichiro Suzuki, the much better defensive player, stepping into right field. Perhaps Soriano wasn't comfortable with that role and perhaps it attributed to his abysmal season, or maybe Soriano just was on the brink of retirement.
In 226 plate appearances, Soriano only managed to hit six home runs with 23 RBI. Soriano, since he managed to hack at anything, only managed six walks which "helped" push his OBP to just .244. Since Soriano wasn't hitting, and since he wasn't seeing much time in the field, Soriano just became a guy who couldn't hit, field, run, and couldn't do much of anything, so the Yankees had to make a decision.
As the trade deadline loomed, the Yankees acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks for everyone's favorite Vidal Nuno, but this would prompt another move as well. The Yankees decided to select the contract of Bruce Billings and cut ties with the once very popular player. Soriano was released and other teams were then given a chance to pick him up but unfortunately no team ever did, and so Soriano found himself without a job.
Regardless of the awful season Soriano put up, he will always be a popular Yankee who was very liked in the clubhouse, especially by Derek Jeter. Soriano had some huge hits in the World Series including a game winning single in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead over the Diamondbacks, and a go ahead 8th inning home run in Game 7 of that series which would have been the series clincher if the Yankees were able to hold on.
Moving forward, I don't see any team taking a chance on Soriano, and I don't see Soriano wanting to further his career a bit longer. If Soriano decides to hang it up, he should be proud of a fantastic career.