Alfonso Soriano Is Coming Home, Traded To The Yankees
I can recall a number of things from my childhood, growing up as an avid sports fan, notably for the New York Yankees. I remember "The Flip Play" by Derek Jeter in the 2001 MLB Playoffs against Oakland, the Yankee Stadium heroics during the 2001 World Series Scott Brosius hitting a big homer off Trevor Hoffman in Game 3 the 1998 World Series against the San Diego Padres and Carl Everett stealing Mike Mussina's potential perfect game at Fenway Park.
I also can recall a young kid being called up by the Yankees in 1999 named Alfonso Soriano - a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic who was still searching for his niche, being shuffled between third base, second base and the outfield. When he was finally given an opportunity to start at second base in 2001, he flourished by finishing 3rd in AL Rookie of the Year voting. He follow that up with a terrific 2002 campaign, becoming only the second player in Yankee history to record 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in one season, winning a Silver Slugger Award and being named to his first ever All-Star team.
He would end up being traded to the Texas Rangers following the 2003 season as part of the package that brought Alex Rodriguez to the Bronx, and from there Soriano eventually transitioned to the outfield, with his batting average having only finished above the .280 mark once since that trade. But now, he's coming back home, as the Yankees are sending minor league pitcher Corey Black and will pay a portion of Soriano's salary.
The 37-year-old will reunite with old teammates Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, along with good friend Robinson Cano. This acquisition definitely adds more depth to a starving roster that badly needs help offensively, and Soriano could certainly help. I'll be glad to see him back in pinstripes this weekend and I look forward to seeing what kind of production he can offer in this struggling Yankees lineup.