Alfonso Soriano trade to Yankees official
Alfonso Soriano played left field in the Yankees' 10-6 loss to Tampa Bay Friday night after the team completed their trade with the Chicago Cubs.
Soriano, 37, batted in the cleanup spot and went 0-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Soriano was acquired for minor-league pitcher Corey Black. The Yankees will also receive a substantial amount of money from Chicago to pay a good portion of the estimated $24.5 million left on Soriano's contract, which concludes after next season.
Soriano was batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs for the Cubs. The Yankees are so power-starved that they were willing to trade for Soriano despite his .287 on-base percentage and average (at best) play in the outfield.
Soriano came up with the Yankees as a second baseman in 1999 before getting traded to Texas in 2004 as part of the Alex Rodriguez trade.
Soriano agreed to waive his no-trade clause to make Friday's trade happen.
The deal was so close on Thursday that Soriano was removed from the Cubs' lineup that evening in Arizona. Soriano reportedly flew to New York on a red-eye flight.
Soriano signed an eight-year, $136-million contract with the Cubs in 2006, a club record.
The right-handed batting Soriano has a paltry on-base percentage, but the Yankees clearly acquired him to clear the bases. The only Yankee with more home runs this season than Soriano is Robinson Cano with 21.
Cano is a fixture at second base, the position Soriano once thought was his to keep until he was sent to the Rangers as the key player in the A-Rod deal.
Soriano has 389 career homers. He is also 11 hits shy of 2,000 for his career, with the first 571 of those coming as a Yankee.
The Yankees are ranked 12th in the American League in runs (393), 14th in homers (88), 13th in OBP (.306) and 15th in slugging (.371). They have not homered in their last seven games. Righthanded batters on the Yankees have a total of 24 home runs, led by Vernon Wells' 10. Soriano has hit 10 homers in his last 21 games -- two more than every Yankee combined since June 28.
Soriano's 54 career leadoff home runs trails only Rickey Henderson (81) for most in MLB history.
With Steven Marcus