Less than one week from Major League Baseball's non-waiver trading deadline on July 31, multiple media reports have Alfonso Soriano being traded by the Chicago Cubs back to the New York Yankees, the club the power hitting outfielder began his big league career with in 1999.
Soriano is currently batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 runs batted in. His offense is the big reason the Yankees wanted Soriano back.
Soriano will be plugged into a Yankees lineup that is missing some major offensive pieces this season. Jeter, slugging third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, and center fielder Curtis Granderson have all found themselves on the disabled list for extended periods this year. Even Kevin Youkilis, the free agent third baseman signed in the off season to fill in for A-Rod, is out for the rest of the season with a back injury.
The Cubs, on the other hand, are undergoing a retooling by president Theo Epstein, who helped direct the Boston Red Sox to a pair of World Series titles last decade. Reports have the Cubs receiving a pitching prospect from the Yankees in exchange for Soriano.
The outfielder said goodbye to his Cub teammates following their loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday night.
“It’s a little uncomfortable, but this is baseball,” Soriano told the Chicago Tribune. “Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the team and best for me. I’ve been traded before and I was happy. Now I have to keep moving and do my job in New York.”
As of Friday, the Yankees are 54-48, six and a half games behind the Red Sox in the American League East, and two and a half games out of the A.L. wild card race. The Yankees host A.L. wild card leader Tampa Bay Friday night in New York.