Breaking news: The Chicago Cubs have traded left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees for a minor league player. Buster Olney says it’ll be a low-tier player. The Cubs will pay anywhere from 17-20 million of the 25 million left on Soriano’s contract. Soriano was orginally slated in the starting line-up today, but was a late scrach. Manager Dale Sveum took Soriano out and even said a trade to the Yankees was close.
Soriano is 37-years old. The Cubs signed Soriano in 2007 to a 8-year deal worth 136 million. Back when the Chicago Tribune Company was the owner of the Cubs and the Jim Hendry era was still underway. When Soriano came over, he was a 40-40 player. However, Soriano could never live up to those stats again. He overcame knee problems and you could tell he was on the decline.
As of late, Soriano has been one of the best players in the league over the last month or so. On the season, Soriano has a line of .254/.287/.467/.754, 17 home runs and 51 runs drive in. Plusn Soriano has walked 17 times and struck out 89 times.
Soriano will surely help out the Yankees line-up. He could replace a struggling Vernon Wells in LF, a struggling Travis Hafner at DH or play both positions for both players at times. The Yankees are in need of offense and power. The Yanks are getting no production from right-handed batters, especially for power. Soriano has equal their amount of home runs in the past few weeks.
The Cubs have so much respect for Soriano that they gave him time to think about a deal to the Yankees. Since he had a no-trade cause and was his decision. Soriano said he’d like to stay with the Cubs, but wanted one more chance to win a world series championship. Theo Epstein said yesterday that a Soriano deal seems like the right time now.
Maybe Soriano didn’t ever live up to his contract, but you can only thank him. He’s been a team player, great clubhouse guy and took critcism with him time on the North Side. I’ll miss Soriano and it’s sad to see him go. I wish him the best with the Yanks and I hope he shows what he’s made of. Congrats on a good career on the North Side, Soriano! You’ll be missed!