Tag: Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano Announces Retirement After 16-Year MLB Career

Seven-time MLB All-Star Alfonso Soriano started his exceptional career with the New York Yankees, and four months after his release from the club in July he has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

Soriano, 38, announced his retirement on Tuesday, per The Associated Press (via The Washington Post).

“I’ve lost the love and passion to play the game,” said Soriano in a radio interview in the Dominican Republic. “Right now, my family is the most important thing.”

The Yankees designated Soriano for assignment on July 6 but released him approximately a week later.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman offered his congrats to Soriano and also tipped his cap as he shed some light on one of the slugger’s lesser-known talents: 

Walking away from the game seemed inevitable for the aging Soriano after he’d batted just .221 in 67 games for the Bronx Bombers in 2014. Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes documented a key portion of what Soriano had to say regarding the team’s decision to demote in the first place:

ESPN Stats & Info provided further context regarding Soriano’s struggles this past season, and ESPN.com’s Mark Simon crunched the numbers at the tail end of Soriano’s last stint in the Bronx:

Longtime Yankees captain Derek Jeter, on a retirement farewell tour amid his final MLB season, weighed in when Soriano was siphoned away from the big leagues, per the New York Post‘s George A. King III:

Soriano is like family to me. I have played with him a long time, when he first came up and when he came back. Sori has had a tremendous career here in New York and it was difficult for him this year. Not playing every day, it’s hard to be productive. I feel for him and I am going to miss him but I will be in touch with him. He is like a brother to me. He should be proud of what he was able to do.

In his earlier days, Soriano was a speedster on the basepaths who also wielded a big stick at the plate but evolved into more of an exclusive power hitter than anything else. The amount of strikeouts he recorded also hindered his impact as a baserunner.

However, he swatted 46 home runs and stole 41 bases in his lone season with the Washington Nationals in 2006. Soriano thus joined Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez as the only other members of the 40-40 club.

Enviable versatility and steady production allowed Soriano to carve out a Hall of Fame-caliber resume, as he served as a second baseman, outfielder and designated hitter.

Fielding was never one of Soriano’s strengths. He accumulated a number of errors, though he had the physical tools and talent to record improbable outs.

That he was never a prominent contributor on a World Series champion shouldn’t hurt him because Soriano spent much of his prime with the Chicago Cubs, who signed him to an eight-year, $136 million contract in 2006. The lucrative deal expired after last season, making Soriano’s retirement all the more logical.

The Yankees have missed the playoffs the past two seasons, but Soriano will be remembered as a key contributor during a far more promising era for the storied franchise.

Soriano leaves behind a strong legacy on the diamond, and his flashy style of play won’t be forgotten. Whether he deserves to be inducted into Cooperstown is certainly up for debate, but Soriano is at least in the conversation after 16 seasons in the majors during which he had 412 career home runs.

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Yankees’ Alfonso Soriano Becomes 7th Player with 1,000 Hits in Both Leagues

Monday evening, the New York Yankees’ Alfonso Soriano became the seventh player in major league history to reach 1,000 hits in both the American and National Leagues, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

Soriano singled to center field on a 1-2 pitch off of New York Mets starter Bartolo Colon in the bottom of the second inning, then came around to score later in the frame on Brett Gardner’s second career grand slam as the Yankees took a 4-1 lead in the game.

The hit was also Soriano’s 1,000th in the American League, and that tally complements 1,077 more in the National League for a career total of 2,077. Only six other major leaguers have matched Soriano’s feat:

Frank Robinson: AL-1184, NL-1759

Dave Winfield: AL-1976, NL-1134

Vladimir Guerrero: AL-1375, NL-1215

Fred McGriff: AL-1347, NL-1143

Orlando Cabrera: AL-1035, NL-1020

Carlos Lee: AL-1240, NL-1033 

Soriano, a 16-year veteran, is on his second stint with the Yankees, as he came up in the organization in the late 1990s and played for the Bronx Bombers from 1999-2003. He was then sent to the Texas Rangers—with whom he’d spend two seasons—in the trade that brought Alex Rodriguez to New York.

Following a year with the Washington Nationals and six-plus seasons with the Chicago Cubs, the former second baseman landed back in New York last July, when the Cubs traded him to the Yankees.

As the Yankees’ designated hitter, Soriano did not start in the three games this past weekend in Milwaukee against the Brewers, and prior to Tuesday’s game, the slumping slugger had only three hits in his previous 20 plate appearances.

He may be showing his age at 38 years old, but Soriano slugged 17 home runs in just 58 games with the Yankees last season, showing that he’s still got something left in the tank.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Odds of Alfonso Soriano Reaching the 500-Homer Club and Hall of Fame Chances

Alfonso Soriano had himself a whale of a game on Tuesday night, clubbing a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats to reach 400 career dingers.

The New York Yankees left fielder has been on fire, and J.A. Happ and the Toronto Blue Jays could do nothing but watch as they faced him.

Soriano’s first blast hit the fourth deck in Toronto and was one of the most impressive shots of the 2013 season. And while his second wasn’t quite as amazing, it still cleared the fence for No. 400.

Perhaps rejoining his former team sparked Soriano’s torrid pace, as he’s been unstoppable since joining the Bronx Bombers.

Soriano has become one of the best hitters in the game since he came back to New York, but how will that affect the rest of his career?

Let’s take a look.


Can He Hit 500 Career Home Runs?

After becoming the 51st player in MLB history to blast 400 career home runs, Soriano will look to join the 25 men who have blasted 500 dingers.

At 37 years old, it will be hard for Soriano to hit another 100 home runs. Obviously he still has a great deal of power, as we’ve seen over these last few weeks. However, he will eventually begin to decline as he reaches the age of 40.

Let’s take a look at Soriano’s home run progression over the last several years.

Year Age Games Played Home Runs
2009 33 117 20
2010 34 147 24
2011 35 137 26
2012 36 151 32
2013 37 123 28

As you can see, Soriano has been hitting more and more home runs since 2009, when he was dealing with injuries. He has been defying father time and has looked like he’s 28 again over these past few seasons.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Soriano hits another eight home runs this season. That will put him at 408, which is 92 home runs shy of the 500 mark.

Hitting 92 home runs after turning 38 years old is tough to do. Babe Ruth couldn’t do it. Neither could Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. or Jim Thome. Mickey Mantle only hit 82 home runs over his last four seasons, and he was only 33 at the time.

Obviously, staying in the American League as a designated hitter for a few years will help Soriano. And playing in the launching pad known as Yankee Stadium next season can’t hurt, either. However, he will likely still fall just short of 500.


Will He Be Elected into the Hall of Fame?

Soriano’s ultimate goal is to be elected into the Hall of Fame, and he has a good chance of getting there. 

His power certainly sets him apart, but what makes him so special is his combination of speed and power.

With 285 career stolen bases, Soriano is only 15 away from 300. He could easily swipe another 15 bags in his career, as he’s already matched that this season. Once he reaches 300, he will become just the fifth player in history to reach 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, joining Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Mays and Alex Rodriguez.

The seven-time All-Star might not have racked up MVP trophies, but he has always been among the game’s best, and his four Silver Slugger awards help prove it.

No one knows if Soriano will be elected. However, he has a good chance to join baseball’s greatest in Cooperstown. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alfonso Soriano Hits Second Homer of Game to Join 400-Home Run Club

Alfonso Soriano clubbed home run No. 400 on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, becoming the 51st player in MLB history to reach the milestone.

The New York Yankees were hoping add a power bat to the lineup when they traded for Soriano earlier this year, and Soriano has lived up to expectations.

His first blast of the night came in the top of the first inning. With two men on and no one out, Soriano stepped to the plate with 398 career home runs to his name. He quickly changed that, however, taking the first pitch he saw from J.A. Happ deep to left field, launching a moon ball that hit the fourth deck in Toronto.

That swing was truly a thing of beauty, and one that has been in a groove since the outfielder rejoined the Yanks, as noted by ESPN:

Soriano wasn’t done just yet. He still had work to do as he stepped up in the top of the third inning for his second at-bat of the game.

Soriano put on another power display, although this one wasn’t quite as impressive as the first:

The slugger skied the ball toward left field, and if you watch him after the ball leaves the bat you’ll see that he shakes his head. However, the ball kept carrying and eventually cleared the fence by just a few feet.

His second home run of the night might not have been as impressive as the first, but was historic nonetheless:

Soriano has always been a fan favorite in New York, and returning to the team certainly helped their offense. Now he is one of the best power hitters in the lineup, and fans can’t get enough of it:

Soriano was the hero on Tuesday night, adding a historic milestone to his already impressive career resume.

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Yankees OF Alfonso Soriano’s Torrid 4-Game Pace Ties MLB RBI Record

Alfonso Soriano thinks that the year is 2002 and that he’s a 26-year-old hotshot second baseman for the New York Yankees.

It’s the only rational explanation for the 37-year-old outfielder’s incredible performance over the team’s past four games, a display that has put his name alongside some of the game’s all-time greats in the history books:

Who knew—or thought—that Soriano was on a collision course with baseball lore when he first went off against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night?


Soriano would finish the game going 3-for-6 with two home runs, three runs scored and six RBI, tying a career high—and putting some major-league offenses to shame at the same time:

Little did we know that it was only a preview of what was to come.

With the Angels sending Jered Weaver out to the mound on Wednesday, the chances of a repeat performance from Soriano were slim-to-none.

Except someone forgot to tell Soriano, who jumped on the Angels ace early:

Another three-hit, three-run, two-home run performance—except Soriano picked up seven RBI this time around, setting a new career high—and joining a very exclusive club:

For those keeping track, that’s two games, a .667 batting average (6-for-9) with four home runs, six runs scored and 13 RBI.

He’d finally come back down to earth a bit on Thursday in the finale of New York’s four-game series against Los Angeles, notching only one RBI in the game, a third-inning single off of C.J. Wilson that scored Brett Gardner.

But he picked up four more hits, raising his three-day average to a ridiculous .714 (10-for-14) to go along with the four home runs, seven runs scored and 14 RBI.

Then Friday night, with the Yankees facing the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, Soriano struck again.

He’d collect his 15th RBI in four games on an infield single in the top of the first inning, but his history-making swing came two innings later, in the top of the third against Felix Doubront:

Or, as Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger put it:

Killed it indeed, and the numbers only emphasize that point: Four games, a .722 batting average (13-for-18), five home runs, nine runs scored and 18 RBI.

With the way he’s seeing the ball and swinging the bat, there’s no telling when Soriano’s torrid pace is going to come to an end.

But it’s made Saturday afternoon’s tilt between the Yankees and Red Sox—which just so happens to be FOX’s Game of the Week—must-see TV.

For hot streaks like this don’t come around often—and you don’t want to miss what Soriano might do next.


Hit me up on Twitter to talk all things baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Grading Alfonso Soriano’s Return to the New York Yankees

Alfonso Soriano made his return to New York Friday, as he played for the Yankees for the first time since 2003.

After being traded from the Chicago Cubs, Soriano received a hero’s welcome at Yankee Stadium. Fans were hysterical that he found his way back to The Bronx almost a decade after he left, and they let him know with this ovation.

Soriano wasn’t just greeted by fans, however, as GM Brian Cashman had only good things to say about him during a press conference in which he addressed the acquisition of the veteran outfielder.

The team desperately needed a right-handed power hitter like Soriano, as he has been knocking the ball out of the park more than the entire Yankees team as of late.

The Yankees were sure glad that Soriano brought his bat back to New York, and Derek Jeter was among Soriano’s former teammates to welcome him back.

Soriano would play left field and bat cleanup for the Yanks in his 2013 debut with the team. It was the first time he ever started in the cleanup spot for the team, which shows how badly New York needed a power hitter.

It was an emotional return for Soriano, but the team didn’t bring him back merely to appease the fans, so let’s check out how he performed on the field.


Contact: C+

The good news is that Soriano made contact and put the ball in play in all five of his at-bats on Friday.

The bad news is that it was never solid contact, and he didn’t record a hit because of it.

Soriano flew out to right and center field, and he grounded out three times. He did reach first base on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning and came around to score, but he didn’t record a hit. He also grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the ninth, beating out the throw to avoid ending the game, but also hurting the rally.

While he didn’t strike out, Soriano didn’t find any holes in the defense, which is why his grade is lower than Yankees fans were hoping for.


Power: C

Soriano was brought in for his power, but he failed to show it off on Friday.

On his two flyouts, Soriano didn’t exactly rouse the crowd by hitting it to the warning track, instead hitting two nondescript fly balls that were easily caught.

Even worse were his groundouts, which were not sharp by any means and didn’t have a chance to leave the infield.

We’re still waiting to see Soriano get ahold of a pitch, and when he does, we’ll see his power at work.


Fielding: A+

Soriano was as close to perfect in the field as it’s physically possible to be.

Not only did Soriano make every routine play and play the ball off the wall well, but he made a pair of spectacular plays as well.

Soriano made a fantastic grab in foul territory in left field, and he also threw out Wil Myers, who was trying to extend a single to a double.

Soriano impressed with both his arm and his glove, and he was as good a fielding left fielder as anyone on Friday.


Overall: B-

While Soriano’s performance at the plate was abysmal, that doesn’t completely define his game.

He made his mark on the field, and while it would’ve been nice to see him get his first hit as a Yankee in 2013, this critique can’t be based solely on his struggles at the plate.

Soriano was still an improvement over Vernon Wells in the field, and his batting prowess will be sure to follow.

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An Early Look at Top 6 Midseason Position Player Trade Deadline Candidates

I’ve recently taken a look at some starting pitchers and relievers who could be available by midseason, assuming their team is out of contention or just has a lot of depth and is looking to upgrade in another area.

The names mentioned weren’t huge names, mostly because teams we assume will be bad typically don’t have deep pitching staffs. When it comes to position players, though, there are several names that will not only be fun to talk about as the rumor mill gets going, but that could also make a lot of sense for teams to move before August 1.

Hunter Pence, Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino were three of the biggest names changing teams in July 2012. Here are the top six players most likely to be available this July.

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Alfonso Soriano Trade Would Dig Insurmountable Hole for Yankees

The New York Yankees need some help in the outfield now that Curtis Granderson is out until May with a broken forearm, but taking on one-time Bronx Bombers prospect Alfonso Soriano is not the answer. Speaking to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the 14-year veteran spoke of a potential return to the team that made him a household name.

“I don’t know if they want to call or not, but if they call for me, I’d have to think about it,” said Soriano, who has two years and $36 million remaining on his contract. “I don’t want to take a quick reaction and say yes or say no. I’m 37 years old, so I have to think about first what’s good for me, my team and my family.

Granted, Soriano returning to the Yankees would not necessarily be the worst thing in the world. The man was with New York as a second baseman from 1999-2003 and hit .284 with 98 home runs, 270 RBI and 121 steals over that stretch. He finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2001 and third in MVP voting in 2002 before being sent to the Texas Rangers in the infamous Alex Rodriguez trade in 2004.

Since then, Soriano has become one of the better power-hitting outfielders in baseball. He has seven All-Star appearances to his name and is a .273 career hitter with 372 career homers and 1,035 RBI. His speed is not what it used to be, but his bat has not deserted him.

But the Yankees must not acquire Soriano under any circumstances. Though a good power hitter, he strikes out way too much and has only drawn 454 walks since debuting in 1999.

Money would not be much of an issue, as the Cubs would likely pay a good majority of the $36 million remaining on Soriano’s contract, but look at it this way. Soriano is 37, and the Yankees already have an aging roster in desperate need of some youth. Taking into consideration that Soriano has also been injury prone ever since signing his monster deal with Chicago in 2007, and there’s another reason that the Yankees should not trade for him.

If a trade does happen, what if Soriano is ineffective or gets hurt? As stacked as the Yankees lineup is, the combination of that and a volatile pitching staff could be enough to get the Yankees off to a slow start that, with the AL East shaping up to be completely up for grabs this season, could doom their 2013 hopes.

That all being said, GM Brian Cashman should flat out take the Chicago Cubs off of speed dial and instead focus on the development of 23-year-old switch-hitting prospect Zoilo Almonte. The talented outfielder hit .277 with 21 homers and 70 RBI for the Double-A Trenton Thunder last season, and he  currently has one home run with two RBI in two spring training games.

This young man clearly has a great deal of talent that could mean great things for him on the MLB level, but Yankees management will never have a chance to check him out if a trade for Soriano goes down.

Unless the Steinbrenner family wants to see the team stumble early and risk not making the playoffs, the idea of a trade for Alfonso Soriano should be taken off the table completely.

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Could Alfonso Soriano Fit in with the Yankees’ Plans for the Next 2 Seasons?

Alfonso Soriano doesn’t want to play for a losing team anymore (via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times), and the New York Yankees aren’t exactly set at the designated hitter’s spot in the lineup. Match made in heaven, right?

Well, not so fast.

Soriano has maintained that he wants to play for a contender and win the World Series by the time he retires (via Wittenmyer). He claims that he’ll stay with the Chicago Cubs so long as they are contending, but any semi-knowledgable baseball fan knows that the chances of that happening are slim for 2013—and possibly 2014.

Soriano has compiled a list of six or seven teams to which he would accept a trade, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. He will only accept trades to teams of the eastern and central divisions.

If you recall, Soriano invoked his no-trade clause when the Cubs brought up the idea of dealing him to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. He cited the cold in San Francisco and how poorly it would affect his knees when asked about reasons why he didn’t want to play for the Giants.

Regardless of whether or not he made the right decision last season, Soriano is ready to move again given the right circumstances. 

Wittenmyer’s sources say that the Yankees are potentially one of the teams he would consider a trade to. Some combination of Travis Hafner, Dan Johnson, Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera and Eduardo Nunez will make up the designated hitter position in 2013. Is Soriano an upgrade?

He actually produced at a very high level last season—his best in the league since 2006 when he slugged 46 home runs with the Washington Nationals.

In 561 at-bats (playing mostly left field), Soriano hit 32 home runs, drove in 108 runs and put together a respectable line of .262/.322/.499. He even finished 20th in the NL MVP voting.

The Yankees would ask him to mostly DH, as Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki will be the team’s main outfielders.

His ability to play the field—and I use the word “ability” loosely—could make him an attractive, versatile option. He can also still handle the bat pretty well, and that would bode well for a team that lost the power of Nick Swisher and Russell Martin over the offseason.

There are two problems with Soriano at this point, and they are two problems that will be the biggest issues in any potential deal.

For one, Soriano is 37 years old. No longer is he the spry young second baseman that came up with the Yankees in 1999. He’s slower and less likely to play in 140-plus games.

The Yankees already have plenty of age on their roster. The average age on their roster is 28.3 years old, third behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (28.6) and Toronto Blue Jays (28.5) for the oldest roster in the bigs.

The last thing they want to do is add a 37-year-old slugger, especially when that trade would likely help them leap-frog over both aforementioned teams.

Now, if Soriano’s contract was up after 2013, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, he won’t be a free agent until after the 2014 season.

With the Yankees’ goal of a $189 million payroll by 2014, Soriano’s pricey contract wouldn’t fit. He’ll make $18 million each of the next two seasons, and that number would certainly hinder general manager Brian Cashman’s pursuit of a Robinson Cano extension and free agent starting pitchers after this season.

Soriano, while he can still hit pretty well, may not be worth the trouble. The Cubs will be looking for decent prospects in return, and Cashman has been reluctant to deal prospects in recent years.

All these aspects together make a deal for Soriano unlikely. His addition may actually improve the Yankees for 2013, but he just doesn’t fit into the Yankees long-term plans.

Yankees fans will just have to be content with Hafner and the others attempting to put together solid seasons from the DH spot in 2013.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

4 MLB Players Who Could Be Dealt Before Spring Training

Could a player such as Alfonso Soriano or Rick Porcello be dealt before the start of spring training?

That seems to be the question of the hour as teams gear up for the start of the spring season.

The 2013 MLB preseason schedule kicks off in earnest next month when teams report to their respective spring training homes in Florida and Arizona. Players such as Soriano and Porcello could be moved before the opening of camps.

Here are four players who could be dealt before the start of spring training.  

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