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Yankees close to trading for Alfonso Soriano, reports say

Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano hits an RBI single

Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano hits an RBI single off a pitch from Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey, scoring Starlin Castro, during the first inning. Soriano was safe at second on a throwing error by Ruben Tejada scoring Anthony Rizzo. (May 17, 2013) Credit: AP

The Yankees are close to acquiring outfielder Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, according to multiple reports.

The New York Post first reported the news.

Soriano would give the sagging Yankees offense a much-needed boost. The team was shut out on three hits last night by the Texas Rangers in their latest offensive dud.

Soriano is hitting .256 with a .756 on-base plus slugging percentage and 17 home runs this season. He's been more potent against lefties as a whole, but has hit for power against righthanders -- a significant weakness in the Yankees outfield. Soriano has come on strong during his last 20 games, batting .296 with 10 home runs.

According to the Post, the Cubs are expected to pay the majority of money left on Soriano's contract -- the 37-year-old earns $18 million this season and next -- and will receive a "mid-level prospect" in return. Soriano would need to approve the trade, as a player with 10 years in the majors, five years with one team. Soriano rejected a trade to San Francisco in 2012, according to Ken Rosenthal, but has said he would approve a trade to the right team and city.

Soriano broke into the majors with the Yankees in 1999 and played with the team through 2003, primarily at second base. He was traded to the Rangers before the 2004 season as part of the deal that netted the Yankees Alex Rodriguez. Soriano has since converted to left field.

A right-handed bat, Soriano is a career .272 hitter with an .825 OPS and 389 home runs.

No names of the rumored "mid-level prospect" have been revealed, however, Joel Sherman tweeted that a Cubs scout recently watched Yankees Triple-A reliever Chase Whitley. Whitley, a 24-year-old righthander, is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA and two saves for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2013, his second season at Triple-A. He has 37 strikeouts and 13 walks in 38.1 innings.

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