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Yankees re-acquire Alfonso Soriano in trade w/Cubs

alfonso_soriano_by_cool_sports_players_1Next February, it will be an even ten years since the Yankees decided to trade for Rangers star shortstop Alex Rodriguez. At first, a deal with Boston was vetoed by the Commissioner’s Office, so Texas turned their attention to what New York had to offer.

Seeing the potential success A-Rod could bring to the team on and off the field, the Bombers parted with their fan favorite Dominican second baseman Alfonso Soriano, along with a player to be named later. That “PTBNL” ended up being infielder Joaquin Arias, selected from a pool of prospects that included international signee Robinson Cano.

To say the least, things haven’t quite worked out for the Yanks. However, they have now made a move to bring this controversial and monumental decade in franchise history full circle.

So, here it is. The Yankees have re-acquired Alfonso Soriano in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has agreed to pay 18 of the 25 million dollars still owed to Soriano, and in exchange pitching prospect Corey Black will be heading to the Windy City.

“Sori” is a different player than he was when he last wore the pinstripes. No longer a speed demon, leadoff hitter, nor infielder, Soriano has played left field since his one and only season with the Washington Nationals in 2006. He has managed to stay mostly healthy throughout his career, as now at 37 years old Sori has been a lock for at least 20 home runs, 70 RBI, and a slugging percentage in the .400s each year.

So far in 2013, the seven-time All-Star is batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, which instantly makes him the Yankees’ best [active] right-handed hitter. Yet, sabermetrics suggest this won’t be that big of a boost to the lineup (0.7 WAR, 100 wRC+). Defensively he is also a liability, perhaps even worse than Raul Ibanez who faked his way as an everyday left fielder in 2012.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Soriano’s deal runs through 2014, so he now joins Ichiro and Vernon Wells as another old, washed-up outfielder that is practically irremovable considering all the money owed to him by now both Chicago and the Yankees.

This is not to say Soriano can’t be a somewhat productive player for this year and next, but it’s unlikely he will be as productive as a younger, perhaps cheaper alternative (Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Kubel to name a few).

However in the interim, as in the rest of this season, this definitely will help out the Yankees lineup. They are desperately searching for power from the right side of the plate and it appears Soriano can provide that. He will likely bat in the middle of the order, and probably will DH more often than not with Vernon Wells still being a capable defensive outfielder.

But, this probably can’t won’t be a season-changing addition, and certainly without Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, [maybe A-Rod] and perhaps another bat via trade, this deal could go down as a useless one.

It will be nice to see an old face back in pinstripes, but it may be nothing more than that. Don’t expect an offensive turnaround with Soriano now in the fold; as mentioned it will take a lot more than him to get this team back into legitimate playoff contention.

Still, let’s all welcome back to the Yankees Alfonso Soriano. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

(UPDATE) Yankees close to re-acquiring Alfonso Soriano

Thursday, 8:00pm: According to Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the deal is “99%” complete, as Soriano has been scratched from the lineup and is saying his goodbyes. Reports say Chicago will pick up $25 million of Sori’s remaining $36 million on his contract. In exchange, the Yankees are rumored to be sending prospects Joel De La Cruz and Chase Whitley to the Windy City.

Tuesday, 12:00pm: Word broke late last night via the New York Post’s George King that the Yankees were close to trading for their former rookie sensation and current Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. They would apparently surrender no more than a mid-level prospect, and Chicago would cover most of Soriano’s remaining contract (2 years, $36 million) that expires next season.

However, there are conflicting reports on the potential deal. Just read what Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had to say on MLB Network Radio earlier today:

Even if a deal is reached, Soriano has 10/5 rights and can veto a trade to any team. But, it’s been reported several times in the past few years that if a return to New York was on the table, Soriano would gladly accept. The 37-year old is currently batting .256 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, and a .471 slugging percentage, a right-handed power bat which the Yankees have lacked all season.

Soriano was the Yankees’ starting second baseman from 2001-2003, but was dealt to the Texas Rangers in February of 2004 for – yep, you guessed it – Alex Rodriguez. As A-Rod faces another injury and a possible suspension, Alfonso Soriano coming back now would be irony at its finest.

We will update you as more news comes in.

Jorge Soler chooses Cubs over Yankees; signs with them

Jorge Soler chooses Cubs over Yankees; signs with them

By Delia E.

Once again the Yankees get the odd end of the stick. After speculation that Jorge Soler might sign with the Yankees, Soler decided to sign with the Chicago Cubs.  Soler was supposed to be a cheap defensive outfielder (think Brett Gardner but with power). The Yankees felt that the Reds had overpaid Arolodis Champan and that the A’s overpaid Yoenis Cespedes which was why they proceeded Soler with caution.

Around The League

Around The League

By Delia E.
  •  The Houston Astros were given permission to interview Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman as the Astros front office goes into a new transition. Ed Wade who was the Astros GM was fired on Sunday Night in the first of changes. Friedman has been known to take the Tampa Bay Rays to the playoffs three out of four years even though they have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
  • The Kansas City Royals have signed former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton on a 1 year, $4 million deal. Broxton will set up for Royals closer Joakim Soria in the 2012 season. Broxton was recruited to the team by Royals LF, Jeff Francoeur who went on a hunting trip with him and Kansas City manager Ned Yost.
  • C.J Wilson was in Florida talking to the officials of the Florida Marlins. Wilson had already met with the Los Angeles Angels while the Rangers have stated that they were still interested in C.J Wilson.
  • The Chicago Cubs have signed Astros bullpen coach Jamie Quirk as their new bench coach for the 2012 season. Quirk is a former MLB player, playing 18 years in the major leagues mostly as a catcher with a career .240  AVG.
  • The Chicago Cubs have also reached out and spoke to the representatives of Albert Pujols. Pujols has already gotten an offer from the Miami Marlins and the Cardinals have experienced interest to bring him back. There is also speculation that the Cubs are interested in former Milwaukee Brewer 1st baseman, Prince Fielder.
  • The San Francisco Giants have extended the contracts of GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy. Both contracts have been extended to the 2013 season with an option for the 2014 season. This move was expected this winter.
  • Greg Maddux has said that he will not return as the Cubs special assistant to the Chicago Cubs due to taking an offer with the Rangers in a similar capacity. Maddux would help the Rangers young pitchers in development as a part of his job description.
  • The Red Sox have narrowed their list down to two candidates for the managerial job: Bobby Valentine & Gene Lamont. Both candidates have experience with managing teams. Valentine has managed both the Texas Rangers & New York Mets while Gene Lamont has managed the Chicago White Sox & the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cubs willing to trade Matt Garza this offseason

Cubs willing to trade Matt Garza this offseason

by Mike D.

Via Buster Olney, other MLB organizations are of the strong belief that the Cubs are “open for business”, regarding Matt Garza. In fact some teams expect the right-hander to be dealt this winter. As with any starting pitcher on the market, the Yankees are figured to have interest in pursuing Garza. In 2011, he pitched to a 3.32 ERA / 2.95 FIP / 3.19 xFIP line, with a 8.95 K/9 in 198.0 for Chicago.

Theo Epstein To Cubs; Deal Finalized

Theo Epstein To Cubs; Deal Finalized

By Delia E. 

Well, it is official: Theo Epstein is now the Chicago Cubs new General Manager. Epstein had been in talks with the Cubs for quite some time after the Red Sox historic collapse back in September. The Cubs had agreed to a 5 year contract worth nearly $20 Million. Epstein was the Red Sox manager when they won the World Series title in 2004 breaking the “Curse of The Bambino.” The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908.

With Epstein gone it leaves trouble for the Boston Red Sox since they have no GM or a manager. The Red Sox fired Terry Francona after the Red Sox season surprisingly ended.  Looks like the Red Sox have their hands full this offseason with trying to replace 2 big parts in their franchise.