Alfonso Soriano ready to try the pinstripes back on

Welcome back, Sori -- here pictured alongside Derek Jeter hearing Gloria Estefan's 2003 World Series National Anthem.

Welcome back, Sori — here pictured alongside Derek Jeter as they listen to Gloria Estefan sing the National Anthem at the 2003 World Series.

Alfonso Soriano said goodbye to his Cubs teammates on Thursday in Arizona, then boarded a red-eye flight here to New York. If the deal was 99 percent completed last night, as we hammered out in those stories from Arlington, it’s 99.99999 percent done as I type this right now.

The only remaining hurdle was Major League Baseball approving the transaction due to the money involved, and that’s just a formality at this point. Soriano is going to be in pinstripes this weekend, and the YES Network’s Jack Curry has already reported that Soriano will be issued his old uniform No. 12, having negotiated it away from Vernon Wells.

Update — it’s now 100 percent official. Soriano is batting cleanup for the Yankees tonight vs. Tampa Bay.

Yankees captain Derek Jeter made sure to point out he was not speaking for the front office this week in Texas (these days in Yankee-land, it’s best to parse your words carefully when speaking publicly, a fact Jeter knows very well) but he also left little doubt that Soriano would be welcomed back into the clubhouse quite easily.

“Everybody knows how I feel about Sori,” Jeter said. “I said it when we traded for Al — he’s someone that you develop a relationship with and you miss them when they leave. We had a great relationship. … He had a lot of power, stole a lot of bases. Sori did a lot when he was here. He was pretty exciting.”

The Yankees are reportedly surrendering Class-A pitcher Corey Black in the deal, and the Cubs are picking up all but about $6.8 million of the approximately $24.5 million Soriano is owed through 2014, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. About $5 million of that is expected to count toward next year’s payroll for the Yankees.

“I’ve changed a lot,” Soriano said yesterday. “I have a lot of memories with the Yankees, and how those players treated me and how they treated people, and that’s what I took with me. Now, I go back, and it makes me more excited because I’ve learned a lot about baseball, and I learned a lot personally.

“Those veteran guys like Mariano [Rivera], Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie [Williams], those guys helped me a lot,” he said. “I used to be a rookie, and those guys treated me very well, like a professional, and that’s what I learned, and that’s what I tried to give wherever I go.”

At age 37, Soriano may not be as electric as he once was, but this is sure to be a popular move with the fan base. It also can’t hurt a lineup that has desperately needed some added production, particularly against left-handed pitching, an area where Soriano has actually done quite well this year.

“He’s been a productive player over his career, there’s no doubt about it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said this week. “He’s been an exciting player, a guy that could steal 40 bases, a guy that could hit 40 home runs. He’s been a good player.”

15 Comments

This is what I think is going to happen. Pineda is coming back to the rotation pushing Hughes to the pen for the rest of the year. Chamberlain is either traded for a Single A prospect just to get rid of him. If that doesn’t occur I see the Yankees releasing him. No reason to hold on to a guy who is gone at the end of the year. Far as I am concerned they can trade both of them to the Cubs for peanuts and a beer. Hughes problem is that he’s a flyball pitcher in a stadium that kills fly ball pitchers. That and his fastball is flat with NO movement at all. Springle that with his I could careless attitude and you have a BAD pitcher. Neither of these two were prepared to pitch at the major league level. They were babied and neither developed any additional pitches nor the mental aspects of the game. Send them packing.

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Robert, wonder why you passed on an answer? Seeknay, I know you have. Anyway, Yankees pull this one out no thanks to Hughes. For whatever reason he can’t pitch in yankee stadium. Is it nerves or what? He sure got the bum’s cheer today leaving the mound. Thanks to some offense from Jeter and Soriano and some quality pitching by the bull pen we managed a walk off win in the 9th. To have gone 9 games down behind the Rays would have been almost impossible to climb out of. 7 is not good but certainly a lot better. Whichever club is interested in Hughes and Joba trade them before the deadline. Hopefully we’ll get something back that can help us. We should get Phelps back soon and where is Pineda? is he ready to pitch yet?

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The past indicates it would only lead to mutual aggravation!

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yankeecanada, I’ve been asking those questions for now 4 years. The guy is a DISASTER, an overhyped, overpaid BAD pitcher. TRADE him and Joba by the deadline. if anyone will take him. If no one wants Joba, RELEASE HIM. Neither is going to be resigned, if the Yankee GM does Yankee fans will get ropes. ENOUGH of Phil Hughes and Joba. They both have had enough time and still the same results.

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Can anyone give me a logical explanation why Girardi and Yankee management keep putting Hughes out on the mound to start? The guy has proven over and over again that his pitch count is too high too early, he gives up too many home runs and he puts his team in a hole too deep to usually climb out of. Please will you trade this guy with Joba somewhere so we don’t have to keep putting up with this.2 years in a row now. What has Hughes got that we can’t see but Yankee management can. How long do you wait for a guy to turn his game around? How many games do you have to lose? Up 3-0 and now Hughes gives up a 3 run homer. Too many pitches up and over the plate. a Team like the Rays will kill you if you don’t locate well. Are we going to get swept here and fall behind 9 games? if we do, then goodbye playoffs. What a way to spoil a good start by Jeter coming back.

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Read… but I’ll pass on an answer.

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Robert you’re back. You sound like you’ve joined our fan club. It is a weak team offensively isn’t it? And I don’t think the guys coming back will make that much difference. And you can’t expect Soriano to be the savior either.

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If you meant to say “poorest” you’re right.

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ANd the Yankees keep falling further and further behind. Let’s face it, it’s not going to get better whether Jeter or Granderson or Nix get back soon. it’s not pitching. Other than CC we’ve had some great starting pitching and bull pen work as well. And you can’t say enough about Mo. But the hitting, the offense has been abysmal. This is the poor offensive team the Yankees have had for years. The Rays started slow. The Yankees started fast and not the two teams are going in the opposite direction. The RAys are hot. The Sox are hot. The O’s are relatively hot. And the Yankees are cold. Sure formula for failure. It’s been a real tough year and it’s going to get tougher.

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“This is the poor offensive team the Yankees have had for years.” What a crock!

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Another great pitching performance by Nova today. I believe this young man has earned his spot in the rotation this year and next, barring injury. Too bad the AA offense that Cashman has put together for this year provided nothing today. Nova desrved better.

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I do NOT want to hear any excuses for this performance by LardAss Sabathia. He has pitched like CRAP since the middle of last year. No excuses, either trade him or he BETTER figure out how to survive in this league. Enough!@!!!!

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An absolute crap performance by CC. Inexcusable. The Yankees need to deal him at season’s end

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the old bases loaded thing again and the Yankees don’t get a run. The new guy Soriano hits a fly ball for the 3rd out. You gotta bury your changes when you get them against a team like the Rays or it comes back to bite you. Could have reduced the lead considerably in that situation but couldn’t get guys on base home and it’s been that way for the Yankees for at least the past 2 years.

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Let’s face it, CC has been the worst and most inconsistent pitcher out of the rotation this year. He is no longer the ace of this team. In fact, I’d put Kuroda first, then Nova, then Hughes, then Pettitte, then CC. Everything is over the plate and you can’t do that with a team like the Rays. They’ll kill you. 6 runs in the 2nd inning and over 40 pitches? Terrible. I think CC has had his best days and maybe if he continues to pitch should pitch out of the pen. He’s been working on mechanics, arm angle etc. but it ain’t working obviously. No sense putting him out there every 5 games knowing it’s likely going to be a loss. Maybe Adam Warren or David Phelps when he gets healthy is a better option the rest of the way. With this lack of offense this year you can’t ask this team to dig themselves out of a 6 run hole. The Rays are hot. The O’s are hot. The Red Sox are hot. The Yankees are cool if not cold. It’s no good trading for Soriano with the kind of pitching we’re getting tonight. He can’t score 7 runs on his own.

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