As we reported earlier this week, the New York Yankees are in the process of acquiring Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano and Cubs manager Dale Sveum now says the trade is “99 percent done.” Soriano was removed from the lineup by Sveum prior to Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Sveum also claimed the New York Yankees were the only team he knew of that was talking with the Cubs about Soriano. The 37-year-old has also reported decided to waive his no-trade clause in order to return to the Bronx, where he began his career.
The deal has not yet been completed but I talked to several sources around the league and all claimed it was virtually a done deal and that formalities were all that were left to be worked out. The Cubs will apparently receive a mid-level prospect in return for Soriano.
Soriano broke into baseball with the Yankees back in 1999 and is currently hitting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs in 93 games this season. Last year he hit .262 with 38 home runs and 108 RBIs, so there is still some pop left in his bat. He is a seven-time All-Star, has won four Silver Slugger awards and was a part of two World Series championship teams with the Yankees (1999, 2000).
In all likelihood Soriano will immediately start in left field for the Yankees, then move to the designated hitter role when Curtis Granderson returns from the disabled list.
Soriano has played the past six-and-a-half seasons in Chicago after signing an eight-year, $136 million contract in 2007. He is earning $18 million this year and is scheduled to earn $18 million next season in the final year of the deal.
The Yankees are currently six-and-a-half games out of first place in the American League East and are desperately searching to add some offense. Bringing in Soriano is step one of that process.