MLB glamor club try and stay in the hunt for post-season action with latest deal.
The New York Yankees, fighting to stay in the hunt for a Major League Baseball playoff berth, obtained outfielder Alfonso Soriano in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.
The deal, confirmed by the Yankees in a Twitter posting, sent developmental-level pitcher Corey Black to the Cubs in exchange for Soriano, a slugger who has blasted 10 home runs in his past 21 games.
In addition, the Cubs will pay for a major portion of Soriano’s remaining $24.5 million salary in a contract that lasts through next year. Reports in Chicago and New York said the payout would cover most of the $18 million due Soriano in 2014.
Soriano was set to take the field for the Yankees on Friday after the deal, which came just five days before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
Soriano, who began his major league career with the Yankees in 1999 and stayed with them through 2003, has 10 homers since June 28 while the Yankees as a team have managed only eight in that span.
The Yankees made the deal standing 54-48, fourth in the American League East division but only 2 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the final playoff spot and 6 1/2 behind division leader Boston.
Soriano, who led the American League in runs and hits in 2002, hopes to turn back the clock and turn the Yankees into a World Series threat once more. They won the championship final in 1999 and 2000 and lost in the World Series two other times during Soriano’s first stay with the team.
“He has been a productive player over his career,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “He has been an exciting player, a guy that could steal 40 bases, a guy that could hit 40 home runs. He has been a good player.”
Yankees captain Derek Jeter, among a host of injured players that has limited the Yankees’ hopes this season, added, “He had a lot of power, stole a lot of bases — Sori did a lot when he was here. He was pretty exciting.”
The 37-year-old Dominican was traded to Texas in 2004 in the deal that brought now-injured Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees.
The Cubs, who are 45-55 and have traded five players with an eye to rebuilding ahead of the trade deadline, signed Soriano to a club-record eight-year deal worth $136 million in 2006.
“He has put together a pretty good run. He has been there before and has performed in that atmosphere,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “They have had a lot of injuries, and he’s the guy who can fill that void.”