Jul
06

Yankees designate Soriano for assignment

By
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

The Yankees have designated Alfonso Soriano for assignment, the team announced. The move clears both a 25-man and 40-man roster spot for Bruce Billings, who has been called up from Triple-A Scranton to help the overworked bullpen.

Soriano, 38, hit a miserable .221/.244/.367 (61 wRC+) with six homers in 238 plate appearances this season. He started the year as the everyday DH and, thanks in part to Carlos Beltran‘s elbow injury, wound up as a platoon right fielder losing playing time to Ichiro Suzuki. Soriano went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and some awful defensive plays yesterday, which might have been the final straw.

The Yankees are paying $5M of Soriano’s $18M salary this year — the Cubs are paying the other $13M — and they still owe him that. They now have ten days to trade him, release him, or place him on waivers. It’s inevitable he will clear waivers and be released with that salary. Soriano was a monster after being re-acquired last year, hitting .256/.325/.525 (130 wRC+) with 17 homers in 58 games. Father Time remains undefeated, unfortunately.

Earlier this season Soriano said he will consider retirement if he has a poor year and I have to think this qualifies. Another team can sign him for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum once he is released, so he might get another chance (Red Sox?) to show he still has something left in the tank. Soriano was as fun a player to watch as anyone when he was locked in, but the time had come to move on. He wasn’t helping at all this year.

Once the pitching staff gets settled in following the Brandon McCarthy trade, the Yankees figure to call up another position player to replace Soriano. Zoilo Almonte and Yangervis Solarte are on the 40-man roster, but Jose Pirela is an interesting non-40 man option. He has crushed Triple-A pitching this year (124 wRC+) and started playing right field about a week ago. That’s probably not a coincidence. We’ll see.

Categories : Transactions
  • Alkaline

    Well, here’s some moves. Thanks for the hot streak last year Sori.

    I’m okay giving up Nuno for McCarthy. I feel there’s at least more potential with McCarthy (for a 30 yr old at least). Decent peripherals this year, poor results. The HR rate is a bit worrisome. Lightning in a bottle, Aaron Small, Yankees mystique. Let’s get it done.

  • TheRealGreg

    So we will be playing with no backup outfielder for now, unless we then send down Billings and call up Pirela.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I’m sure a position player (Almonte or Pirela) will be called up soon, like after tomorrow’s game at the latest, depending on whether Whitley, Miller, or Billings (or Greene if he’s called up tomorrow) is the odd man out.
      In the meantime, Wheeler and KJ both have OF experience.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      Kelly Johnson has 130 career games in leftfield. You can resolve the situation in a few days, if someone does get injured KJ can fill in if needed.

  • emac2

    It was time to cut Soriano. Hopefully Greene is the call and we rotate a few guys to see what we have.

    Johnson can go too. Ref and Garcia can get a shot.

  • the 84 yankee team

    …and so it finally begins. It’s a damn shame, but Soriano was toast. Interestingly, I called this before the start of the season when everyone was clamoring to release or trade Ichiro. Who’s the better player now? Anyway, McCarthy is much of an improvement over Nuno and the cost is nominal. His numbers are pretty decent. We’ll see. I imagine there are more moves on the horizon and the Yanks can’t hang around too long or they’re out of it. I expect a bigger move within the next week. Let’s see.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Interestingly, I called this before the start of the season when everyone was clamoring to release or trade Ichiro.

      What you want, a cookie?

      • the 84 yankee team

        No. But worth reminding the folks on here which were 99.99999999999% in agreement that Ichiro was a toad, should be released, smelled weird, and god only knows what else I remember reading. It was fairly easy to see then that Ichiro was hands down the more durable player and would likely have a better season in comparison to Soriano.

        • forensic

          folks on here which were 99.99999999999% in agreement that Ichiro was a toad, should be released

          You might want to check your survey results again…

        • TC

          It’s not like Ichiro has actually been any good either. Since he’s been getting a lot more playing time he has like a 60wRC+. If it wasn’t for Mookie Betts misplaying a single into a triple he’d be 2 months without an extra base hit. Just because he’s not as bad as Soriano doesn’t mean he is good.

        • Daniel

          None of this sounds familiar. Actually the one who went hardest on Ichiro that I can remember is the main man Mike Axisa. And if Ichiro had been playing everyday since April he’d probably have been right anyway. Either way, I can’t remember this great battle between Soriano and Ichiro ever happening. And I’ve never even noticed your comments on the website.

      • the 84 yankee team

        and by durable = athletic.

      • pepes pizza

        I want a cookie though.

        • W.B. Mason Williams

          I answered final jeopardy, bring me a pie.

          • ropeadope

            What type of pie is your favorite?

            • W.B. Mason Williams

              Apple.

              Least favorite: humble

              • ropeadope

                lol, good answer!

    • RetroRob

      Ichiro should be replaced, too.

  • Kosmo

    Yanks trying to right the ship. Good.

    • Looser trader droids FotD™

      More like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

      Don’t get me wrong. Moves like this have to be made. But this is one of like, 10 things this roster needs to do. And I may be under estimating.

  • stan

    I guess they couldn’t stand to see one more swing and miss at a pitch in the dirt 3 feet outside.

  • MB923

    He should have been DFA when Wheeler was called up.

    • TheRealGreg

      Solarte was sent down in response to that move, I think.

      • tom

        Maybe he means Soriano instead of Anna that was DFAed for Wheeler.

        • MB923

          Yeah, this.

      • MB923

        I know, but the better move IMO would have been to dump Soriano than to send down Solarte.

  • KeithK

    Sorry to see him go because he’s been a solid player for the Yanks in the past and yesterday’s effort is a terrible way for a guy to go out. Might have been his last big league game too (who would sign him right now?) But it was also a move that had to be made. Good luck to him.

    • Kiko Jones

      This.

  • Bill

    Just the beginning. Wouldn’t be surprised to see any combination of Pirela, Almonte and Refsnyder between now and the first game after the break. The departure of Ichiro wouldn’t be a shock either. Nor would a move involving either Roberts or Johnson. I guess it’s good that baseball has hit a nasty streak of mediocrity, otherwise the Yanks would be cooked.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I don’t think Roberts is going anywhere soon, which probably means no Refsnyder anytime soon.

      I’d imagine they’d keep Ichiro around as at least a 4th OF/PR/defensive replacement.

      If Solarte gets hot in AAA, maybe he could replace KJ.

      • TheRealGreg

        Yeah, Roberts is swinging the bat solidly lately, hearing the footsteps.

        Agree about Ichiro. Keep him as a bench player where he has been most effective.

    • the 84 yankee team

      It’s extremely unlikely that much happens to Ichiro or Roberts at this point, unless injured. Roberts has been mediocre at the plate, but strong in the field and overall a somewhat sound player at 2nd. He is certainly not Cano, but not sure how significant an upgrade the Yanks can make at 2nd right now when they need to address other areas and I would rather use any prospect/cash assets for those upgrades. With Solarte at AAA, they Yanks are ok at 2nd for now and for 2014. Worry about that in the offseason. Same with Ichiro. Unless the Yanks bag Stanton or some similar caliber player, why bother. Johnson, I agree, he will likely be traded and he has some value to trade to other teams. The Yanks could package Johnson and a solid prospect and actually get something in return.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    So I’d assume Billings will probably be gone after tomorrow’s game, and they’ll call up a position player to replace him.
    Almonte?
    Pirela?
    Solarte?

    Or I suppose Whitley could be the odd man out, or Miller.
    Mon – Billings
    Tue – Tanaka
    Wed – McCarthy
    Thurs – Phelps
    Fri – Kuroda
    Sat – ? (Billings?, Whitley?, PTBNL?)
    Sun – Tanaka
    AS Break

    • Winter

      Girardi said that Billings won’t start, so Whitley stays. My guess is Almonte is coming up, but I guess it could be Pirela.

      • TheRealGreg

        Would rather Pirela. Younger and more versatile. Can play both infield and outfield

      • tom

        Is that before or after Nuno was traded?

        • pepes pizza

          after

          • tom

            Wow… What a dumb plan. SMH!

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Looks like Shane Greene will be getting the start tomorrow, and Almonte will be the called up OF.
              So 2 of Billings/Miller/Whitley will be gone by Tuesday.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        So does that mean Greene gets called up to start tomorrow?
        Whitley would only be on 2 days rest now, and apparently McCarthy is scheduled to take his turn on Wednesday.

        If so maybe Greene stays in the rotation for now, with 1 of Whitley, Billings, or Miller going to the bullpen and the other 2 DFA’d/demoted.

        Or I suppose they could have Whitley start Thurs, Phelps Friday, Kuroda Saturday, and Tanaka Sunday – possibly dependent on how whoever gets tomorrow’s start fares.

        • Winter

          Greene is scheduled to start tomorrow in AAA, so I’m thinking he gets called up in Soriano’s spot, they play with a short bench for two days, then he gets sent down for either Pirela or Almonte.

          • Winter

            And makes the spot start on Monday, obviously.

            • tom

              Billings takes Soriano’s spot. Someone else has to be removed from the active roster.

              • Winter

                Probably a reliever. David Huff or Jim Miller.

                • RetroRob

                  Unlikely it’s Huff. He seems the most likely to stay. Green can bounce back down, or if Green pitches well, they may send Whitely down.

        • tom

          I go with Greene replacing Whitley for 25 man roster. That’s it.

          • Winter

            Then you’re still short a starter.

            • Winter

              Wait, never mind.

              • tom

                Good Morning, my friend. heh.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Tanaka
              Kuroda
              McCarthy
              Phelps
              Greene

              Bullpen:
              DRob
              Betances
              Warren
              Kelley
              Thornton
              Huff
              Whitley/Billings/or Miller

            • RetroRob

              If Greene stays and McCarthy comes in, how are they down a starter if they send Whitley to AAA?

    • tom

      Second portion is similar to my theory.

      Sucks that Almonte and Pirela can’t hit lefties. Suzuki will be seen on the field for most of time. Solarte should be back because Wheeler can play OF.

    • forensic

      Almonte for Soriano shouldn’t been made a month ago, or more, already. So I’m hoping that’s it. But, I’m sure it makes too much sense to play Ichiro against lefties so I’m sure it’ll be something different.

      I would also bring Greene up and insert him in Whitley’s spot, since he’s pitching moderately well at this point and obviously Whitley isn’t doing anything good.

      • forensic

        *should’ve, not shouldn’t…

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        It appears it’s going to be Almonte.

        Whether they use them intelligently and have Ichiro play vs. LHP with Almonte getting a chance vs. RHP remains to be seen.

        • tom

          I go with that way. Take an advantage of Almonte’s power against RHSP.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Had to be done. But he’ll be peppering the green monster in 10 days, watch.

    • TheRealGreg

      And have him play the wall? That’s a good idea for them.

      Besides they already have a Soriano like player, Jonny Gomes

    • the 84 yankee team

      Considering the Red Sox are currently fielding perhaps the worst outfield in professional major league baseball history, I can totally see them picking up Soriano. It just makes too much sense to put him out in that juggernaut of a right field. I mean, this has Red Sox management written all over it. Individuals who make moves that lack any sense or logic whatsoever.

    • forensic

      He would have to make contact to do that.

  • forensic

    Hallelujah!!!

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Bring on the Zoilo

    Or the Trout.

    That’d be ok too.

  • http://google NYcornerstone

    He needed to play every day to get hot , Joe
    ruined that too

    • Old Man Time

      I guess the Joe bashers are getting desperate for narratives.

    • Yanks

      Soriano playing everyday would have destroyed us… he’s a liability everywhere.

    • chris

      Soriano should be playing every day. Cribbage though. In an old age home.

  • Fernando

    Miller or Billings goes down tomorrow for Greene. Greene goes on Monday, then gets sent down for Almonte. Miller should go any point to bring up Montgomery or Ramirez.

    • Yanks

      Montgomery isn’t healthy, nor has he been good this year. He wouldn’t even be a major league option if healthy.

  • chris

    Thank the lord. Good start. Next up – trade kelly johnson for a used flesh light.

  • Nathan

    Thanks for last year, Sori and the little trip down memory lane.

  • trr

    Let’s be honest, it was a move that had to be made, and was probably overdue at that. I suppose yesterday’s pathetic performance was the last straw

    • chris

      He just needs to use a bigger bat and swing harder.

      • CashmanNinja

        Ha. That actually made me grin. Dude thinks he’s Babe Ruth or something.

  • tom

    Billings has pitched poorly in AAA so I guess he will be DFAed to make a room for Pierla.

    Otherwise, Almonte may be brought back this Tuesday.

  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    YAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAYAYAYAYAYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Other Matt

    I’m sad to see Soriano go, though you could see it coming for more than a few weeks now. If I were the Red Sox I’d pick him up if, and when, he passed through waivers and see if he could turn it around. As crazy as it sounds, he can’t be much worse than what they have right now. Despite the fact that he has looked terrible this season, I wouldn’t put it past him having another hot-streak left in him, similar to last year, though maybe not to that extent. I’m sure, if he wants to continue playing, he’ll have a couple teams willing to bring him on board.

    Obviously, this opens up the spot immediately for Billings today, and McCarthy in a couple days, whenever he arrives. But I wonder if this means we’ll see Jose Pirela brought up soon, or if Zoilo Almonte will get another shot in the big leagues.

    • chris

      Sorianos WAC was 0.0. Wins above a corpse.

      • CashmanNinja

        Soriano’s offense is worse than Brendan Ryan and his defense is worse than David Ortiz chugging in the outfield. We could call up a handful of guys who would, at the very least, put up slightly better overall #’s than Soriano. I loved Sori while he was here, but he’s done.

      • TC

        He’s actually got a negative WAC. A corpse would let ball 4 go by from time to time.

        • chris

          Brilliant.

        • W.B. Mason Williams

          Comment of the day

  • chris

    With these distractions out of the way, we can concentrate on whats important. Derek jeters farewell tour. I am on pins and needles about whether he is going to finish the season with more homers or surf boards.

  • TheRealGreg

    Pinstripe Alley ?@pinstripealley 11m
    If you want to speculate, Zoilo Almonte isn’t in the lineup for Scranton. Refsnyder and Pirela are.

    Dammit.

    • tom

      What the heck? We won’t need him until Tuesday. That 2 day off for him.

      If Kuroda pitches well today, Miller, Huff and Billings will be available for tomorrow game backing up nerving wreck Greene.

      Maybe it is just in case if either Billings or Miller pitches too much today.

      • TheRealGreg

        I’m just upset that it is not Pirela. The only reason that defends it is that he hasn’t played the outfield that much in his career, especially RF. Still I want to see someone new. I kind of think that we already know what Almonte is.

        • tom

          Unfortunately, I think Roberts is Pirela’s only ticket.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            I think if they replace Roberts, it will be Refsnyder.
            Pirela wasn’t good defensively before, and hasn’t played 2B in weeks.
            Replacing Soriano was his best shot (without injury).

            • JimBear

              I agree Refsnyder is the 2B of the future.

    • forensic

      Good, that’s the better move to make at this point. No 40-man move needed and hopefully (though unlikely) Girardi will do it right and play Ichiro vs. lefties and Almonte vs. righties.

    • chris

      Almonte, pirela, and reffy are entirely too young and healthy to be added to the roster at this point. They need more seasoning.

      • tom

        Almonte and Pirela are not young. Both would become minor league free agent after this season if they were not on the 40 man roster. Refsnyder is young at everything.

        • chris

          They arent in their 30s. That is young for the yankees

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            Pirela is pretty much on par with guys like Wheeler and Solarte, in terms of age and experience.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Also, 1 of them (most likely Almonte, who has already been called up a couple of times) will be up within the next few days.

          • Old Man Time

            An age joke…how clever.

  • chris

    Proposed trade. Beltran, mccann, ellsbury, and roberts for robinson cano.

    • forensic

      They’ll only do it if you throw in A-Rod too.

  • chris

    I have run the numbers in a bunch of different ways. The results keep coming out the same. Cashman is a poor gm. We have a 200 million dollar payroll and a 43 and 43 record. We have the worst infield i have seen in my 40 years of watching baseball. We are saddled with a half dozen albatross contracts in arod, cc, tex, beltran, mccant, and ellsbury. Our minor league system is in shambles. We got no first round pick this year. We have resorted to spending 30 million on 16 year old dr kids.

    Am i missing anything?

    • Old Man Time

      Yes, apparently you’ve missed a lot of baseball in your 40 years of watching if this is the worst infield you’ve seen.

      • chris

        I should clarify. I am talking mlb baseball.

        • Old Man Time

          I am too.

    • emac2

      yes.

    • Cheval Anonyme

      By “running the numbers”, do you mean including the numbers 200, 43 (twice), 40, 30, and 16 in your post?

      • Daniel

        Hahaha this cracked me up.

      • Old Man Time

        ietc

  • Hiroki Kureddarda

    Good. This guy was trash. He couldn’t play a lick on defense. And if you can’t do that you better hit. But he couldn’t even hit lefties.

    • emac2

      Does that mean you’re a piece of garbage?

  • Looser trader droids FotD™

    Thanks for the memories Fonzie.

    If someone with awesome Bref Foo is willing to do the work, I’d be willing to bet that Soriano has among the very highest earnings/WAR in history.

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    Great having you for round 2, but this had to happen. Good luck Sori.

  • Lukasz

    Thats sad, I really liked Sori last year. Too bad the clock struck twelve this year

  • Dan in Athens

    Wow. A guy who is on a lot of Yankee leader boards and loved the team. This is a sad day. I hate you bandwagoners so fn much. A good guy and a helluva a player for long time might be hanging it up because its time. Even in the best scenarios ie bobby mercer and Donnie baseball this isn’t a “yay” time. I’m just glad there was no anonymous blogging then.

    Then again it’s summer, so there is no class here