Yankees, Cubs agree to Alfonso Soriano trade

Alfonso Soriano on his way to New York
Mailbag: Hughes, Soriano, Wells, Konerko
Soriano is back in pinstripes. (Getty)
Soriano is back in pinstripes. (Getty)

After days of rumors and weeks of desperation, the Yankees are finally adding some right-handed power to the lineup. New York has agreed to acquire Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs for minor league right-hander Corey Black, reports Bob Nightengale and Joel Sherman. Jon Heyman says righty Tommy Kahnle was on the table as well. The trade has not yet been announced by either team.

Soriano, 37, had full no-trade protection through his ten-and-five rights and had to agree to return to the Bronx. Nick Cafardo says the only team he was willing to accept a trade to was the Yankees. Soriano took a red-eye flight to New York last night and is expected to be with the team in time for tonight’s series opener against the Rays. I assume he’ll step right into the lineup on a full-time basis and not platoon. The Yankees have an open 40-man roster spot and will likely demote either Melky Mesa or Thomas Neal to Triple-A Scranton to clear a 25-man roster spot.

According to Buster Olney, the Bombers will pay $6.8M of the roughly $24.5M owed to Soriano through next season. They will pay $5M of that $6.8M in 2014. Soriano’s eight-year, $136M contract comes with a $17M average annual value and an $18M salary next season. This luxury tax stuff is complicated, but by my unofficial calculation, Soriano will carry a $4M “tax hit” next year. Hopefully we get some confirmation on this at some point.

In 383 plate appearances this season, Soriano has hit .254/.287/.467 (100 wRC+) with 17 homers and ten stolen bases. That includes a .273/.310/.496 (112 wRC+) line against left-handers. After hitting just .250/.288/.302 with one homer in his first 30 games of 2012, Soriano switched to a lighter bat and hit .265/.331/.551 with 32 homers in his final 121 games. Over the last 30 days of this season, he’s put up a .286/.330/.714 (178 wRC+) line with ten homers.

To give you an idea of how power-starved the Yankees are these days, Soriano has out-homered them 8-7 in July. He’s hit ten homers since the Bombers last got a homerun from a right-handed batter — Jayson Nix took Yu Darvish deep on June 25th — and overall he has 17 homers this season compared to 24 for New York’s righty bats. As a team, the Yankees are hitting just .235/.306/.341 (77 wRC+) with 20 homers against left-handed pitchers in 2013. They were desperate for a right-handed power bat.

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty)
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

Soriano is not without his warts, obviously. He doesn’t walk (3.9%) and will strike out a fair amount (23.2%), though his strikeout rate isn’t as bad as generally believed. It’s more Nick Swisher and Evan Longoria than Curtis Granderson and Mark Reynolds. Soriano also doesn’t steal bases like he once did — his ten steals this year are already his most since 2008. From 2009-2012, he stole just 22 bases in 28 attempts (79%). Soriano has worked hard to both improve his defense (though he’s still no better than average in left) and his reputation in recent years. He gets rave reviews for his work ethic and clubhouse skills nowadays, especially when it came to mentoring the young players in Chicago. The Yankees love that stuff.

As you know, Soriano broke into the big leagues with the Yankees in 1999 before sticking for good in 2001. He signed with the Hiroshima Carp as a 16-year-old in 1992 and played them through 1997, at which point he “retired” from the Japanese leagues so he could sign with the Yankees for $3.1M. Soriano hit .284/.322/.502 (115 wRC+) with 98 homers and 121 steals with New York from 1999-2003, including .295/.335/.536 (128 wRC+) with 77 homers and 76 steals from 2002-2003. He finished third in the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year voting and third in the 2002 AL MVP voting, when he nearly went 40/40 (39/41). Soriano was traded with Joaquin Arias to the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez in February 2014.

Black, 21, signed for a below-slot $215k as the team’s fourth round pick in last year’s draft. I ranked him as the 24th best prospect in the organization before the season and the 18th best after last month’s draft. Black has a 4.25 ERA (3.27 FIP) with an excellent strikeout rate (9.58 K/9 and 23.0 K%) but a poor walk rate (4.90 BB/9 and 11.8 BB%) in 82.2 innings spread across 19 starts for High-A Tampa this season, though he did spend time on the DL with an unknown injury. He’s undersized — listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 lbs. — but he has a big fastball, showing 100 in the past and sitting in the mid-90s now. His secondary pitches all need work and he’s likely headed for the bullpen down the road, though he has been impressive as a starter in 2013. Here are some .GIFs.

The Yankees have a ton of hard-throwing right-handed relievers in the organization, making it the one of the only areas the team has plenty of depth to use in trades. They are desperate for power at the big league level and Soriano will provide that even though his game is limited. The Cubs took Black over Kahnle because he’s the better prospect, and trading a High-A pitcher likely destined for the bullpen for an upgrade to the big league lineup for a potential second half push is a move the Yankees should make all day, every day. New York still needs more offense, at least one and probably more like two or three bats, but Soriano is a start and he came at a reasonable cost.

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Alfonso Soriano on his way to New York
Mailbag: Hughes, Soriano, Wells, Konerko
  • Eddard

    Great trade. They already have a strong pen and really need the offense. With their pitching all they have to do is get in and anything can happen. They could go on a run with the bats returning at just the right time.

    • mike falcaro

      Welcome home Alfonso we missed you lots…

    • aly ramirez

      Peter O’Brien will be the next Yankee 3b. You can count on it.

    • aly ramirez

      Peter O’Brien will be the next Yankee 3b. You can count on it.

  • JLC 776

    Welcome back, Sori. Lets hope his bat makes a dent in Rays’ pitching this weekend.

  • Bo Knows

    They’ll take Black, guys who throw upper ninties are always valuable

  • Slugger27

    hard not to like the trade. improve the team without giving up a real prospect.

    • JLC 776

      Black is a lottery ticket, sure, but one with a very high upside. I wouldn’t immediately call him ‘not a real prospect’. Hard thrower and young – he gets his accuracy under control and he can be real.

      • trr

        I’m OK with this, and hoping for the best.

      • Slugger27

        95% of all pitching prospects are hard throwing and young. thats what makes them pitching prospects. if everything clicks right hes a right handed middle reliever. i guess non-prospect was harsh, but every organization has a ton of corey blacks. theres several in every draft class.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          If everything clicks right he might be a Nova/Phelps/Warren-type 5th starter and swingman or a 2nd division closer.

      • Former ACE MannyGeee

        Agreed, but you have to give something to get something. The Yankees are rich with these RHRP types in the lower levels, although Black has more upside than many.

        “…he gets his accuracy under control and he can be real…”
        The Dellin Betances Story

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Terrible comparison, MannyGeee.

          Dellin Betances was a god in Hi-A.

  • Mike HC

    How bad could Soriano be at third?

    • JLC 776

      You don’t want to fuck around with someone at 3rd that doesn’t know what they’re doing. Remember, Sori is a former second basemen, he has very little experience on the left side of the infield.

      • Mike HC

        I was half joking. But honestly, Soriano could be our best overall third baseman right now. If my life was on the line, playing one game tomorrow, and I needed to pick a third baseman between Soriano and what the Yanks are throwing out there now, I’m probably picking Soriano.

        • JLC 776

          Ah, sorry – didn’t pick up the sarcasm.

          Offensively he’s a huge upgrade to what we’ve been throwing out there, but I don’t see him making either of the two big plays that Lillibridge made at the hot corner yesterday. And you can argue that those stops saved the game considering the final score.

          But I will admit, I’m still stuck in 2003-2006 with how I see Soriano’s defense: liability.

          • Mike HC

            True. He could be terrible over there. He was a butcher at second from what I remember. I would need to see him to take some grounders at third before I make up my mind, ha.

            • Dave M

              I don’t think he was quite as bad a 2Ber as everyone says. But I wouldn’t say he was good there either. I did see him play 3b once. THAT was scary bad.

        • Former ACE MannyGeee

          Give me Wells, thanks

        • http://twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

          … So… you’d be dead is what you’re saying :D?

      • Mikhel

        “he has very little experience on the left side of the infield.”

        Not true, Soriano was a SS and 3B all his life before the NYY decided to convert him to second baseman before his promotion to New York.

        He was one of the various SS the Yankees had back when Jeter was still in his first years in the majors, back when the team had almost a SS per season they decided to stock up on shortstops but were later converted to other positions (Almonte, Howard, Eenhorn, D’Angelo, Bellinger, even Robinson Canó).

        Maybe you don’t remember back when Soriano was brought for the first time to the majors and was really bad trying to field SS throws to second base, because he didn’t know how to step off the base and make the throw to first base, being a SS and 3B all his life he always had first base in sight, whereas at 2B he had to turn his back and ended up making horrible throws.

    • trr

      Bad…

  • MB923

    Yankees to pay $6.8 mil of $24.5 mil. I thought the Yanks were going to pay a lot more

    • Slu

      The $5MM next year is going to get complained about a lot.

      But it ain’t my money and he does make the team better today, so I suppose I am for the deal.

  • BeanTooth

    Black? And I was bummed when I thought it would be Chase Whitley. Not that I thought he was untouchable by any means. I just hoped he’d go for a guy with at least a .300 OPB. Truly desperate times, these.

    • Oy

      21 year old in High A with a 4.90 BB/9. I don’t mind giving up Black, who can be a potential bullpen piece in two/three years for a guy who would be the third best hitter on the team right now.

      Better than McAllister for Kerans, no?

      • JLC 776

        It’s a good move for today, and a few years we hope that Black isn’t shutting teams down left and right because he figured out his accuracy issues and throws as hard as Verlander.

        Actually, I do hope he does – real nice guy from what I understand.

        • Preston

          Yeah, I’m still rooting for the guy.

        • Former ACE MannyGeee

          John Axford comes to mind. Everyone got all butt-hurt when he became the man in Milwaukee, but the winds changed. Melancon, Clippard, Romo, Kontos… the list goes on and on. In a bubble and a time machine maybe you keep those guys and trade Joba for Halladay or Cliff Lee or something. But then in that same paralell universe Joba becomes Seattles closer and then we’re back in the same position.

          All this to say, hes a middle reliever in the eyes of the ball club, and middle relievers are the most volatile and hence the most tangible players in the game. Better him than DePaula.

          • Fernando

            Romo? I don’t recall him ever being a Yankee minor leaguer. Think you meant someone else no?

            • Mikhel

              Yeah, Romo wasn’t a Yankee, Sergio after his time in Mexicali played a bit in the Golden League and was signed by the Giants that way (I think his brother, Andrew also played in the Golden League up until the demise of the league, I forgot to ask him last weekend when I had the chance in the Mexican Northern League finals, where the team he plays for, the Toros, ended up losing in 7 games to San Luis Río Colorado).

          • Mikhel

            Whenever a team has a young controllable pitcher with value outside of the organization and relatively no use in the short term, said team should look to trade him.

            There are a lot of examples of pitchers the NYY didn’t want and yet found relative success with other teams, like Eric Plunk, Joe Borowski, or Bob Wickman, all of them were not really good for the NYY yet were good for other teams after they played for the Yanks.

            In contrast: Jay Tessmer and Joba Chamberlain, both of them were highly regarded, perhaps Tessmer a bit more than Joba but with far less media attention, the Yanks held on to Tessmer longer than they should and ended up bringing almost nothing for the team. Joba, right now you’d be lucky to get a pack of bubble gum in return for him. Has potential (San Diego Padres potential, same with Hughes) but also carries with himself a high risk of failure.

      • Bo Knows

        but he’s throws high 90’s and has 3 offspeed pitches that he’s learning to throw for strikes. Also like you said he’s 21, very young and the walk rates will sort themselves out. If they don’t, he’s a closer prospect with a monster fastball.

        • Slugger27

          i get what youre saying, but really, what pitching prospect in the lower levels isnt working on throwing offspeed pitches for strikes? they all are.

          he’s 21, very young

          turns 22 next week and hes in A ball, hes definitely not young for the level.

          walk rates will sort themselves out

          based on what?

          • Bo Knows

            You didn’t read the rest of what I said, If your going to quote me, do the whole thing don’t just cherry pick.

            “If they don’t he’s a closer prospect with a monster fastball”

            Also he’s in Tampa so it’s not like he’s pitching Staten Island or anything. He’s a young pitcher that will see time next year in AA, probably at midseason, which would still make him young.

            • Slugger27

              hes a closer prospect if he DOESNT get his walk problems sorted out???

              • Bo Knows

                …..I’m honestly not sure if your messing with me or are truly that dense…..

                Closer, you know the guy who comes out at the end of games games when the score is within 3 runs to get saves?

                • Slugger27

                  lol

              • Preston

                It’s easier not to walk people in a one inning stint, mainly because you can survive on your fb alone, also there are a lot of successful relievers who walk a ton of batters but get away with it because of their high K rates, like David Robertson from 2009-2011.

        • HTD

          Since when do walk rates automatically sort themselves out for a prospect who has never pitched above Hi-A?

          • Bo Knows

            Corey Black himself has said that he rarely needed to throw offspeed pitches in college, he’s learning how to command those pitches, those are feel pitches that he’s learning how to throw for consistent strikes. Learning to throw a slider or a changeup for a strike also means your going to walk a bunch of guys before you learn how it operates and become more consistent.

      • A.D.

        McAllister for Kearns was a bad deal that really doesn’t get that much heat. Even if Kearns had hit the same as he did in Cleveland I think it’s a bad deal given how close McAllister was to MLB

      • pat

        It was more like McAllister for Kearns and Kerry Wood.

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    I think he’s really coming at an ideal time. Is Soriano expected to be in the starting line up tonight ?

  • Tim

    Should have made this deal a month ago. But it is what it is. Hopefully with Jeter and A-rod The Grandy Man back, this team will get on a roll.

    Gardner
    Jeter
    Cano
    Arod
    Granderson
    Soriano
    Overbay
    Stewart
    Ichiro

    • Mikhel

      I agree, for the short term cost attached to this trade, the Yanks should have done it at least in mid june.

  • Preston

    I know I’m in the minority, but I still consider Black a starter candidate. This is an overpay to me, I’d have rather taken on more money and given up a lesser prospect.

    • Bo Knows

      Your not, I liked him as a starter too, can’t teach velo (this term was intentional just to annoy people) I liked Black but oh well

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        You spelled “V-LO” wrong.

    • pat

      Don’t think you’re in the minority. Nobody wants to give up a guy that throws 95+, even if he’s a few inches shy of 6 feet.

      • Dave M

        “Don’t think you’re in the minority. Nobody wants to give up a guy that throws 95+, even if he’s a few inches shy of 6 feet.”

        Heck I’m a few inches shy of 6 feet, and I’m a great guy! :-)

    • Slugger27

      no, im the one in the minority. your opinion seems to be the popular one. only time will tell.

      • Preston

        Maybe I’m not, but I should be. I’m self aware enough to know that my prospect crush on Corey Black is slightly irrational. He’s short, walks a ton, supposedly has too much effort in his delivery and hasn’t pitched above A ball yet. He’s a giant question mark and Soriano is a big upgrade now and for next season.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixiera – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    Thank GOD. One of many improvements this team needs to make in the next couple of days/month.

  • jjyank

    I like it. I don’t mind giving up Black at all. Looking forward to seeing a bit more thump in the lineup!

  • nycsportzfan

    Great deal for the yanks. Soriano is still producing and is on pace for nearly 30hrs this yr. Also, its much needed “right handed” thump. Hes even on pace for 16steals, even at age 37.

  • Yankeefan

    Think soriano will wear # 12 ?

    • A.D.

      Maybe tough to pry for Wells, he doesn’t exactly need money/watch/any of the typical bribes

      • Brice

        If he wears #29 people who bought rafael soriano t-shirts can feel relevant again….

    • JLC 776

      Maybe they’ll settle it Kruk style…

      • Dave M

        “Maybe they’ll settle it Kruk style…”

        Case of beer?

  • Colombo

    So wait, is there no chance of trading ARod for Soriano? It would have been so poetic.

  • Eddard

    In order to maximize the RH thump in the lineup I think they need to mvoe Eduardo Nuney back to 3rd again, especially if A-Rod isn’t coming back. They need his bat in the lineup and it’s not like Nix/Lillibridge/Cruz are better options.

  • John

    So what’s the lineup for tonight?

    Gardner CF
    Nunez SS
    Cano 2B
    Soriano LF
    Overbay 1B
    Lillibridge 3B
    Hafner DH
    Suzuki RF
    Stewart C

    I was thinking more speed at the top with Cano and Sori back to back. I know Hafner has been terrible, so it could possibly be Wells instead. Knowing Girardi he might play the “hope he turns on one” card with Hellickson on the mound.

    • Jason

      …why switch Nunez and Suzuki now? 0 reason to believe Joe does that. Also Lillibridge in front of Suzuki? He’ll try to keep the lineup about the same, just adding in Soriano and taking out Mesa.

      Gardner CF
      Suzuki RF
      Cano 2B
      Soriano LF (or DH)
      Wells DH (or LF)
      Overbay 1B
      Nunez SS
      Lillibridge 3B
      Stewart C

  • mitch

    surprise, surprise — Dave Cameron grades the trade as “an easy win for Chicago”. They could have include Jeff Samardzija in the and he’d still drool over Theo’s brilliance.

    • A.D.

      He more describes it as win/win but wonders if the Yanks are really going to make the playoffs for it. It is a win for Chicago since Soriano wasn’t going to be a difference maker for them, they get something in return, and some money off the books

      • mitch

        I agree it’s a win/win…definitely makes sense for both clubs. I just think it’s funny how he fawns over every move Epstein makes. I’m not going to quote the whole article but he says the extra 5mil will most likely allow them to sign a better player in the off season and uses the 5mil Scott Feldman signing as an example of his brilliance. What about the 5mil Scott Baker signing?

        Obviously i’m picking nits, but his hard-on for certain front offices annoys me.

    • Slugger27

      how is it not a win for chicago?

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Exactly. It’s definitely a win for Chicago, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a good deal for the Yanks.

    • Vincent Vega

      Of course it a win for them. They’re terrible so getting a decent prospect for an overpaid 37 yo outfielder with 1.5 years left on his contract is great.

      On th eflip side though, if the yanks make the WC and Sori continues to hit like he has that could change.

      • Dave M

        I’m hoping that Sori is pumped up to be back with the Yanks and goes on a tear like Ichiro did last year, but with power.

  • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    I like the trade they got what they needed without giving up too much. BTW very impressed with most comments on what they give up. Usually we get a lot of “Oh! NO they give up the best prospect that ever lived…”

    I’m sure A-Rod will be on the WFAN today to let us know that he hates the trade and that it’s just another try by the FO to keeping him from playing.

  • Bubba

    He was never going to be free so giving up a lottery ticket doesn’t seem so bad. Not thrilled about the 5 mil in 2014 but it could have been worse.

    • mitch

      I’m not that worried about the 5 mil next year. It’s not like Austin or Heathcott are knocking on the door and ready to contribute at rookie cost. They were going to need a RH outfielder anyway next year and the price tag is manageable.

  • pat

    Can’t wait for Black to automatically get bumped up a few stars prospect wise now that Theo targeted him in a trade.

    • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Bingo!!!

      I was thinking the same thing.

  • There’s the Door

    Sigh. I give you Raul Mondesi.

  • DERP

    I really like Black, but this seems like an okay trade. I will be a little pissed if they sit on their hands after this because this acquisition alone isn’t making this team a playoff team.

  • JLC 776

    I think this weekend series is going to be critical for how this team approaches the deadline. Soriano doesn’t mean the team is going the ‘Buy’ route, it just addresses an immediate concern.

    If we get swept, I bet Kuroda is gone. If we take this series and don’t lose WC ground, I bet we upgrade.

    Should be interesting.

    • Bubba

      I would think there is no reason to get Soriano unless they are going the ‘Buy’ route. You give up a lottery ticket and add money in 2014 for what then?

  • Mc

    Sweet. For the price, a nice offensive addition. Once Granderson returns he’ll man LF and Soriano can fill in the DH role the majority of the time. I do not see the Yanks releasing Hafner, at least not right away. We’re 30+ days away from expanding the rosters and my guess is they release all the spare parts first I.e. Cruz, lillibridge, Adams, etc to open roster spots. Jeter and Nix will take two of those. Granderson and Soriano will take Mesa and Neal spots.

    My money is that the Yanks still move Joba and or Hughes, perhaps even as soon as this weekend.

    Once Hudson went down for the Braves, I immediately considered them an option for Hughes. Won’t cost nearly as much as Santana or Norris. I know they need a left handed bullpen arm too and I wonder is sending Logan back would produce a greater return. Yeah, I know, why the heck would we trade away our proven lefty reliever. I don’t know, but the Yanks might be able to get a nice prospect in return for both Hughes and Logan. Logan not cheap and if I remember correctly, not arb eligible this offseason and a free agent too.

  • DERP

    I’m still holding out hope that Sean Black is the one going to the Cubs.

    • pat

      Or Shane Greene.

  • JLC 776

    LF: Granderson
    CF: Gardner
    RF: Ichiro
    DH: Soriano
    3B: Lilli/Adams
    SS: Jeter
    2B: Cano
    1B: Overbay/Tex
    C: Romine/Stewie

    We’re getting close… lots of pressure for Grandy, Jeter, and Tex to come back and do good (and to do well). But we can pull this shit off.

    Just need fat ass to figure out how to pitch again and for Pettitte to settle out.

    • JLC 776

      Nuney would probably move over instead…

    • Bubba

      I thought Tex was done for the year.

      • JLC 776

        That’s right – forgot he had surgery.

    • Dave M

      Forgot A-Rod? Or are you assuming he gets suspended this year and doesn’t appeal?

      • JLC 776

        I don’t think we’re seeing him again this year.

    • Jacob the OG

      Shut the hell up and don’t the man fat ass. you never pick at peoples weight like that, especially ones good men like sabathia. Fools like you ruin this world

      • JLC 776

        I was talking about Joba…

  • vin

    What I think is funny is that he signed to play in Japan in ’92. But after he was dealt to Texas, it was revealed that he is 2 years older than originally thought. Meaning he was born in ’76 and not ’78. If he was born in ’78, then he would’ve signed in Japan at 14. No wonder Texas knew he was really 28 when they acquired him… didn’t take much detective work.

  • JLC 776
  • CS Yankee

    I’m not a big fan of Sori as he pissed me off so bad in the ’03 playoffs swinging over every pitch but a foot or more.

    However, unbelievable that he has out dingered the whole RHB this month and he is this sad, sad offense’s 3rd or 4th best hitter starting today.

    So next year though, are they going to have the oldest OF trio ever start a game with Wells, Ichiro and Soriano (when Gardner gets a day off)?

    • Kosmo

      IMO Wells will be released sometime by ST 2014.

    • JohnC

      no guarrantee that Wells will be here next year. Yanks paying most of his salary this year. Basically got him for nothing next year so they could release him if they have better options. Soriano likely to be RH DH next year, not staring outfielder. Ichiro coulde be part time OF as well.

  • Tim

    The real interesting news will be who gets dfa’d when Nix, Soriano, A-rod, Jeter, Granderson, Phelps, Cervelli get added to the 25 man roster.

    1B-Overbay (1)
    2B-Cano (1)
    SS-Jeter, Nix, Nunez (3)
    3B-Arod (1)
    C-Cervelli, Stewart (2)
    LF-Soriano, Wells (2)
    CF-Gardner (1)
    RF-Ichiro (1)
    DH-Hafner (1)

    SP-CC,Kuroda,Phelps,Hughes,Nova, Pettitte (6)
    RP-Mo, Robertson, Kelley, Joba, Logan, Clairborne (6)

    • Eddard

      Hafner’s gotta go. Mesa and Neal are 2 that will go. Lillibridge and Romine are the others that will go for Soriano, Jeter, Granderson, Cervelli and Nix. If A-Rod comes back then Nix will be DFA’d. I wouldn’t even bring Nix back for Lillibridge but I’m sure they will.

      I don’t know if Phelps has a spot anymore because Nova’s been so good. He’d return if they dealt Hughes or Joba for a bat.

      • Kosmo

        Cervelli will come back when rosters expand. If Romine continues to hit he´ll stick around. Same holds true for Lillibridge.

        • umbrelladoc

          You left on Hafner instead of Granderson. If Nova is still going well, you can move Phelps in the Adam Warren spot, so the pitchers are set. If everyone comes back – and there is the possibility of suspension for A-rod AND Cervelli, you only need 40 man roster spots for Granderson, A-Rod and Cervelli. Cruz and Joseph are two. You would need the 25 man spot for Hafner, so he could go. If Lillibridge can’t be sent down then he would create a spot. Neal got no love from Girardi, so he’s a DFA candidate.

          So, Neal goes down to AAA for Soriano (Yankees have a 40 man spot open)
          Mesa goes to AAA for Jeter
          Adams goes to AAA for Arod (Corban Joseph to 60day DL)
          Warren to AAA for Phelps (or Phelps to AAA to remain stretched out)
          Lillibridge to AAA for Nix
          Hafner DFA for Granderson
          Romine to AAA, Cruz to 60 day DL for Cervelli
          Neal DFA for Youkilis – I doubt he (or Cervelli) will be back before rosters expand, and it would create a problem on the 25 man roster if ARod is on the team at that point.

    • BeanTooth

      Not sure I would count on Cervelli for much this year. He’s probably looking at a 50-game suspension.

  • Hardy

    189 is officially dead!

  • DERP

    Clarkin and Black are childhood friends. Just gives Clarkin more reason to hate the Yankees.

  • Pat D

    Soriano now gets to join this Sporcle quiz, which is somewhat out of date.

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/j.....pleyankees

  • MB923

    It’s official, Corey Black is going to Chicago

    • JLC 776

      Best of luck to him. Hopefully each team makes out on the deal

  • Vern Sneaker

    On the assumption that it is Black or Kahnle, I’m okay with this. Soriano’s production is reasonably predictable for this year and next and is an upgrade for the lineup, and the future of prospects like those two cannot clearly be known at this point. If they succeed, good for them, but to criticize the trade at that point would be pure 20/20 hindsight. Hopefully the report is accurate as to who we’re probably giving up.

  • Tim

    Tonight’s lineup

    Gardner
    Ichiro
    Cano
    Overbay
    Soriano
    Wells
    Nunez
    Lillibridge
    Stewart

    • Dalek Jeter

      Why, pray tell, is Loverbay, with his lower ISO and his Sub .300 OBP hitting clean up while Soriano is hitting 5th?

      Gardner
      Ichiro
      Cano
      Soriano
      Overbay
      Wells/Pronk/Neal/Mesa
      Nunez
      Lillibridge
      Stewart

    • JLC 776

      Swap Overbay and Soriano (better protection for Cano). I’m hoping to see more Romine now that he has a hot bat.

  • Abu

    Great. Now all cash has to do is find a viable left fielder, right fielder, first baseman, shortstop, and third baseman.

    • JLC 776

      Granderson and Jeter?

      I’m more worried about catcher, personally.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      …you do understand that Sori will be playing LF, right?

  • Dalek Jeter

    This makes me happy, not just because it makes the team better (and hopefully pushes Vernon to the bench for the rest of 2013 and off the team in 2014) but because when I was younger Sori was my favorite player. When he got traded I was saving my Christmas money to put it with any money I got from Easter + allowance and stuff to buy myself a Soriano jersey. which may or may not explain why I hated A-Rod his first few years with the team

    • JLC 776

      I was in the yeomen’s shack of the USS Philadelphia when word came out that the Soriano/ARod trade had gone through. I was pissed. I turned to the YNC next to me and made the declaration that the Yankees would regret trading away such a great, home-grown talent – and that he would out-HR ARod (which was a ridiculous claim for where he was going, but I was irrational at the time).

      Boy was I wrong. But I’ve always liked Soriano and nostalgia makes me happy that he’s back. If he makes an impact, I’ll be overjoyed.

      • Darren

        I wonder if the Yankees could do it all over again, would they?

        Would you, as a fan? I mean, we had a great 2009, but 2004 is like a spike in our hearts.

        I would not have traded Soriano in the first place, and given the chance, would take a chance on missing out on 2009. I think. Maybe. nah.

        • JLC 776

          I wonder how Cano would have worked out had we kept Soriano. Would we have pushed him to the outfield (or even 3B – he played 10 games there but was awful with the limited exposure)? Would we have moved him for someone else? Would we have moved Cano instead?

          It’s a great question. That trade really was a really, really big moment in Yankee history.

          • jjyank

            Interesting thought. My gut reaction is to move Cano to third. We all know he has the arm for it.

        • jjyank

          Yes, a thousand times over. The mistake was signing A-Rod do the monster deal after he opted out, not making the initial trade for him.

          I like Soriano, and I’m happy that he’s back. But I’d still drive him to the airport myself for that trade.

          • Darren

            Even if you had to take the Van Wyck to JFK at 5pm in the rain on a Monday?

            • Slugger27

              lmao. game changer.

            • Dalek Jeter

              Have fun with that drive JJ. But I agree, from a baseball standpoint, taking 11 year old me’s love for Soriano out of the picture…you make that trade every day. The contract was terrible, but the original trade was a monster win for us.

            • jjyank

              Hah, well played.

          • JLC 776

            Yeah, I agree the initial trade was great – especially in hindsight. I don’t think I would have made it from an emotional fan perspective – I had really latched on to Soriano and had big-time blinders on as to his weaknesses (plus I missed the entire 2003 season so my lingering memories were of his big hits in 2001 and 2002).

          • Bubba

            While I agree with you, since the trade A-Rod has about 11 more home runs and 925 vs 825 OPS. ARod was paid about twice what Soriano has been paid. Throw in the unnecessary drama A-Rod generates and you could probably make the argument that keeping Soriano might have been the better call.

        • CashmanNinja

          You do the Soriano/A-Rod trade 10 times out of 10. Don’t forget that Texas also paid a big chunk of A-Rod’s salary each year. The problem was Hank not having any patience and being scared that A-Rod would walk. NO other team would have given A-Rod half as much of the $275 that the Yanks gave him. The Yanks basically bid against themselves and it was dumb as hell. I bet they could have gotten him for around $150-180, and not quite as many years. I liked A-Rod (emphasis on liked) and like him or hate him he single handedly propelled us through the playoffs to get that championship.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          That was one of the very best trades of all time. If Cashman had that opportunity and didn’t take it, he should have been tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

    If Soriano can’t pry 12 from Wells, I sense we found our last No. 22 candidate for the year.

    • pat

      Do players often switch mid season? You gotta think there’s a rule prohibiting that to protect the 5 members of Wells’ family that bought his jersey.

    • Brice

      id like to see the negotiation log for this trade…

      Cash: soooooo

      Theo: yeah, before 2 years ago never thought id negotiate a trade with you…

      Cash: well this is awkward…

  • Wheels

    It’s really cool to have Soriano back.

  • JD

    Great trade. Love that they are not throwing in the towel. Amazing year given the loss of Granderson, Arod, Jeter, Texiera etc. Its hard to watch but these guys are laying it all out there. Very proud of the organization.

  • yooboo

    2 big time fastball throwers in bullpen for just 5m in 2014. Absolute good.

    Robertson better to be a solid closer as Betances and Claiborne have to keep bullpen altogether in 2014.

    Lefty should go to Nuno or unknown scrap player. Maybe Bleich?

    • yooboo

      My bad.. I thought 2 relievers. Superb.

  • SDB

    Fair enough trade. I’ll take it. Looking forward to seeing Sori in pinstripes tonight.

  • your mom

    Why couldn’t they take Sean Black instead? I liked Corey Black as a possible late inning guy in the future. But I guess those are a dime a dozen in our farm. No big loss I guess. Soriano’s going yard tonight!!!

  • CashmanNinja

    Black has tons of talent, but in the end he really only has the ceiling of a middle reliever. He kind of reminds me of Shawn Kelly in a way. Good strikeout numbers, but a little while. I think Kelley is a good comparison of the kind of pitcher he could be if he ever reaches his ceiling. That’s not bad by any means, but relievers are volatile and Kelley is an example of that (i.e. being cut loose by Seattle). I’d risk that for Soriano in a heartbeat. Seriously….$5 mil on the payroll next year. Every agent knows how desperate the Yankees are. If a bat like Soriano’s was a free agent it would take more than 1 year/$5 mil to land them.

  • Mr. Roth

    I still think if we’re serious about a rally down the stretch we need to pick up another power bat. A right handed 3B or 1B piece would be ideal, but I don’t really even care much about the handedness.

  • The Real Greg

    Looking at the numbers, I can see why Corey Black was regarded well despite the high ERA this year. But the one position that the Yankees have really developed well in their farm system are relievers, specifically RH relievers. Preston Claiborne is a tribute to that. So I think in the end, it’s the right thing to do.

  • Robert

    Welcome back Fonzi!

  • Dillon

    A year and half of Soriano for a team like this means nothing. We aren’t going to win a world series over the next two years and Soriano isn’t going to help much. Trading for a kid that can hit 100 is foolish in my mind.

    • CashmanNinja

      A lot of guys can hit 100 easily, but that doesn’t mean they should. Just because someone throws fast doesn’t mean they throw well. Look his walks. He’s wild. What good is 100 if you have no control over it? That’s most guys settle for throwing a tad less because it gives them a better ability to control where the pitch goes and it doesn’t put as much stress on their arm. So all you care about is speed? I bet you were the biggest Kyle Farnsworth fan on the planet.

      • Bo Knows

        He’s wild because the yankees had him throwing his 3 offspeed pitches in an attempt to develop feel for them. Black has said that prior to being drafted he was 90% fastball. They also altered his mechanics too, hence part of the reason behind the 15 walks in 52 innings last year versus the 45 he has this year

  • 461deep

    Nice trade for Alfonso as bet he’s happy to be
    back. Will 60 games be enough to change things? Perhaps depending upon not too long period of adjustment back to ALE and others coming or not coming back in time and produce. Be honest don’t know much about Black but
    high heat kids always good IF IF IF they learn command and half decent secondary pitches.
    Slow running impaired defense of returning oldies might cost games…

  • Gary Hogan

    is there some kind of Yankee law that you can’t get any one under 35 LOL

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Is there a player of Soriano’s caliber who is both under 35 and available for the price of Corey Black?

  • rose heller

    welcome back Soriano. I just hope you have a couple of homers left in your back because the yanks will need them

  • rose heller

    my mistake. I meant to say BAT instead of back.

  • Melvin

    I’m happy to see Alfonso Soriano back with the Yankees, but at the same time, they need to get it going because if everyone can come back, they can make a serious run at the Red Sox and Rays. With the new wild card format that was established last year, anything can happen. if A-Rod can put the whole performance enhancing drugs behind him and just play well, and everyone else can come off the DL and just play solid, then we have a legit chance. It’s just the timing. If the timing is right and get on a long winning streak, they can go deep into October. Let’s just hope I’m right.

  • Wayne

    How can they give up kahnle when he should be the replacement for Rivera eventually. Come on. What was cashman thinking?

  • forensic

    Still not a fan, and even less of one if it takes up that much cap space next year.