When the New York Yankees made the mid-summer deal last July to re-acquire Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs, it could not have worked out more perfectly for them, as Soriano was a spark in the lineup and at times, almost unstoppable with the bat.
In just 58 games with the Yankees, the 38-year-old hit .256 with 17 home runs and 50 RBI, which was almost identical to his numbers with the Cubs through 93 games, which was .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, giving him 34 home runs and 101 RBI on the season.
Now in the final year of the nine-year, $136 million deal that he signed with the Chicago Cubs; a deal that the Yankees are paying all of $5 million for in 2014, the Yankees veteran isn't sure if he will continue to play after the season or if he will call it a career once the 2014 season concludes.
“It depends on how I feel,’’ Soriano said when asked by The Post if he wants to continue playing. “If I am healthy I will play [in 2015]. If not, I will let it go. It depends how I feel.’’
Soriano is likely to be the Yankees designated hitter this season after playing the second half with the team in left field. Before the team acquired Jacoby Ellsbury, Soriano was figured in again to play left, but with Ellsbury's addition to the team, it shifts Brett Gardner back to left field and Soriano to the DH spot, something he is ok doing so long as he is in the lineup.
“I don’t know,’’ Soriano said when asked where he fit. “They said something about DH and left field. I want to be in the lineup, it doesn’t matter where. If I am the DH I will have to make adjustments,’’ Soriano said. “When the team is playing defense I will have to find a way to keep my body warm and ready."
Soriano's career started with the Yankees in 2001 and was viewed as a future cornerstone with the team, but after the 2003 season, was dealt to the Texas Rangers in the deal that landed them Alex Rodriguez. Soriano spent two years with the Rangers and a season with the Washington Nationals before signing his deal with the Cubs in the winter of 2006. After seven years in Chicago, the Cubs were in a rebuilding phase and Soriano's name came up in trade discussions, so when the Yankees were in desperate need for a right-handed bat, it made sense for the two teams to come together and pull the trigger on the deal to send Soriano back to the team that he came up with in the pros.
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