The New York Yankees have acquired outfielder Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor-league right hander Corey Black, in a a deal that has officially been approved by the commissioner's office, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. Soriano is on his way to New York to join his new team, but a source confirms that Black has not yet been told that he is involved in the deal. ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes that the Yankees will only pick up $6.8 million of the $24.5 million owed to Soriano over the next two years, including $5 million next season. Chicago will be on the hold for the other $17.7 million on Soriano's contract.
As reported on Thursday, the Yankees were among the teams on the list of acceptable destinations that Soriano gave the Cubs on Wednesday, and the sides have been working hard since Monday to get a deal done. The veteran was scratched from the Cubs' lineup on Thursday night because, as manager Dale Sveum told reporters, the deal was "99 percent done". Now that the commissioner's office has approved the money changing hands in the deal, Soriano will officially join the Yankees.
Soriano, a seven-time All-Star, is hitting .259 with 17 HR and 51 RBI on the year with the Cubs. He will immediately provide the veteran presence and right-handed power bat that the Yankees are looking for in the absence of injured stars Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. The fifteen-year veteran also drew interest from the Rangers before being shipped back to the Bronx, where he began his major league career. In four years with the Yankees from 1999 to 2003, Soriano hit .284 with 98 HR and 270 RBI before being shipped to the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez in February 2004. In fifteen major league seasons with the Yankees (1999-2003), Rangers (2004-2005), Nationals (2006) and Cubs (2007-2013), he is a career .273 hitter with 389 HR and 1,086 RBI.
Soriano is the latest member of the Cubs to be shipped out of town in July, joining Matt Garza (Rangers), Steve Clevenger (Orioles), Scott Feldman (Orioles), Brent Lillibridge (Yankees) and Scott Hairson (Nationals). The North Siders are expected to continue selling until the trade deadline on Wednesday.
Black is the prospect headed to Chicago in the deal, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed on Friday. MLBDailyDish's Chris Cotillo reported on Thursday night that Black was on the Cubs' list of potential acquisitions, and the that the Cubs had narrowed their choice down to two finalists-- one unidentified player and one from a group of Black, Joel De La Cruz and Chase Whitley. Josh Norris of the Trentonian was the first to mention Black's potential involvement.
Black, who has spent the season with High-A Tampa, was the Yankees' fourth round pick in the 2012 draft. The 21-year old was ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees' 25th best prospect before the season, and has posted a 3-8 record with a 4.25 ERA, 9.6 K/9, and 4.9 BB/9 in 19 starts on the year. Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues provides a scouting report on the young pitcher, who the Cubs plan to develop into a power reliever.
"Black stands out for two reasons. One, he’s an undersized right-handed pitcher, standing just 5-foot-11 and 175 lbs. Two, he offers premium fastball velocity thanks to electric arm speed. Black regularly runs his fastball into the mid-90s as a starter and hit triple-digits a few times in 2012. The pitch has a little two-seam action in on righties. A decent but still developing changeup is his second offering while the slider and curveball lag as his third and fourth pitches. He’s not a one-pitch guy, but the offspeed stuff definitely needs work."
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