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Yankees acquire Soriano from the Cubs

Outfielder will bring much needed power bat to New York's lineup
07/26/2013 12:58 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Alfonso Soriano will make his return to New York Friday night against Tampa Bay.(AP)
Alfonso Soriano is in pinstripes once again, as the Yankees and Cubs have finalized a deal that sends the 37-year-old outfielder back to New York in exchange for RHP Corey Black.

It has been reported that in addition to shipping Soriano to New York, Chicago will pick up roughly $17.7 million the approximately $25.5 million remaining on his contract, with the Yankees paying $1.8 million this year and $5 million in 2014, the final year of the eight-year, $136 million pact Soriano signed with the Cubs in November 2006.

Although rumored all week, the deal was first reported to be “99 percent” complete Thursday night when Cubs president Theo Epstein reportedly called manager Dale Sveum and asked him to pull Soriano from the starting lineup for that night’s game with the Diamondbacks.

Soriano, who reportedly took a red-eye flight to New York overnight to join the Yankees, had to waive the no-trade clause he earned with his 10-and-5 rights and MLB had to review the financial particulars to make the deal happen, but that was all completed and the trade was announced Friday.

"He's going to a place that is obviously one of the better stadiums, and he's been there before and has performed in that atmosphere before," Sveum said of Soriano Thursday night. "Obviously, they've had a lot of injuries, and he's the guy who can fill that void."

Soriano is hitting .254 with 17 homers, 51 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 93 games this year, but in 21 games since June 28, he has hit .286 with 10 homers, six doubles, 21 RBI, and a 1.044 OPS.

“He's put together a pretty good run," Sveum said. "Last year at 36 years old, he hit 32 [home runs] and drove in 108 [runs]. That's a legacy in itself. He's a guy who when he's on the field, he's lived up to his media guide, so to speak, besides the stolen bases he's had in his career early."

Soriano’s addition will give the Yankees a huge upgrade from the right side of the plate, as Yankees righty hitters have just 24 homers total this season and the team as a whole is hitting .235 with 20 homers against left-handed pitching entering Friday.

And, in addition to that, Soriano has become a great clubhouse presence since his first stint with the Yankees, which saw him hit .284 with 98 homers over 501 games from 1999-2003 before being traded to Texas for Alex Rodriguez in February 2004.

“He's 100 percent completely different than I thought," Sveum said of Soriano Thursday. "There hasn't been a day of disappointment in his attitude, his work ethic, what he brings to younger players and his professionalism has been off the charts."

In return for Soriano, the Cubs will get the hard-throwing Black, who was the Yankees’ fourth-round draft pick in 2012. The 21-year-old righty was 3-8 with a 4.21 ERA over 19 starts with the Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees this season, and had 88 strikeouts in 82.2 innings pitched.

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