Fade to Black: Cubs trade Soriano for Yanks RHP
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs traded left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees Friday afternoon, in exchange for minor league right-hander Corey Black.
The 37-year-old Soriano spent almost seven seasons with the club, after joining the North Siders in 2007 on an eight-year, $136 million deal. Seen as both a leader in the clubhouse and on the field, Sori was a key component to the club, especially during the transition period when the new regime took over after the 2011 season.
“Seeing him from the other side of the fence, I was completely blown away by the kind of person he is and the work ethic he puts in,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum prior to the season. “I rank him in the top five people I’ve ever been around in the game as far as work ethic, people and everything.”
Soriano returns to the Yankees, where his MLB career began in 1999. It was in New York where the slugger was mentored by some of the game’s great players, including Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. Soriano used that experience to help teach an often green Cubs clubhouse how to stick at the major league level.
“When I see Starlin and all those young guys, they are like me,” Soriano said. “When I used to be young with the Yankees, I needed help, and all those guys gave me help. So that’s what I try to do with [guys like] Starlin. Try to help them to play in the big leagues. … This is the job, and this is what you love to do, so play hard and do the best you can in the field.”
Soriano has a career line of .272/.321/.503 (AVG/SLG/OBP) with 389 home runs, 181 as a member of the Cubs. This season, he was hitting .254 with 17 homers and 24 RBI.
The 21-year-old Black was a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Faulkner University in Alabama. In 2013, his first professional season, the starter is 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 82.2 innings. Black has recorded 88 strikeouts—an average of 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings—and has limited opposing hitters to a .243 average.