7/25 Soriano to Yankees “99 percent” done
Alfonso Soriano appears to be headed to the Yankees. Theo Epstein asked Dale Sveum to pull Soriano from Thursday’s lineup because a deal was nearly completed between the Cubs and Yankees that would send the 37-year-old outfielder back to the team where he began his pro career. Sveum said the deal was “99 percent” done.
The Yankees were 6 1/2 games back in the American League East. Can Soriano help the Yankees?
“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. “Obviously, they’ve had a lot of injuries, and he’s the guy who can fill that void as [designated hitter] and in left field.”
Soriano has hit 10 home runs in his last 21 games, and was batting .286 in that stretch with six doubles, 21 RBIs and a 1.044 OPS, dating to June 28. He has homered in five of his last 14 games, and ranks seventh among active players in career home runs with 389.
“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.”
This was Sveum’s second season with Soriano, and he was impressed with his professionalism.
“He’s 100 percent completely different than I thought,” Sveum said. “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.”
— Carrie Muskat