by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Updated as of 11:00 AM EST
According to Jim Bowden (via Twitter), “MLB has approved the trade of Alfonso Soriano to Yankees (& cash changing hands) and Soriano has officially waved no-trade DEAL is OFFICIAL”.
Joel Sherman (via Twitter) is reporting that the Cubs will receive minor league pitcher Corey Black in return for Alfonso Soriano. Let’s take a look at the fallout from both sides.
The Yankees Fallout:
The Yankees have been in an obvious need for some right-handed power for a long time, owners of a league low 24 HR from right-handed hitters (they are hitting .221 with 24 HR, 134 RBI and 150 R). They are expected to get Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson back in the lineup soon, which also should help, but the one thing we’ve learned from the Yankees this season is that they cannot count on any of their injured players (especially Rodriguez, given all the drama of late).
As for Soriano himself, he’s hardly a perfect fit. Returning to the team he started his career with (he was the centerpiece of the trade that brought Rodriguez to the Bronx), he brings with him the ability to hit for power but little else. Over the past five seasons his best average was .262 in 2012 and he no longer offers any speed. He also hardly ever gets on base:
- 2011 – .289 OBP
- 2012 – .322 OBP
- 2013 – .287 OBP
Among those who qualify, his current OBP places him in a tie for 140th in the league (with Adeiny Hechavarria) out of 155 players. The fact is he doesn’t draw walks (3.9%), strikes out a good amount (23.2% in ’13, 22.2% or higher each of the past five seasons) and has posted a line drive rate over 20% just once in the past five years (he is currently at 19.9%).
He should continue to hit for power, especially playing in Yankees Stadium, but it’s hard to expect much else from him. Continue to view him as a one trick pony, so his value is relatively unchanged by the move to New York.
The Cubs Fallout:
According to Sherman the Cubs view Black as “power rlvr in future, up to 97 mph, good curve.” Time will tell, as the 21-year old (he’ll turn 22 in early August) has been starting for the Yankees High Single-A team. Over 19 starts (82.2 IP) he owns a 4.25 ERA, 88 K and 45 BB. The arm is clearly there, though he needs to harness his control.
As for where this leaves the Cubs’ outfield, you have to think it’s going to be a revolving door at this point. Junior Lake has been hot and deserves to play and David Dejesus & Nate Schierholtz should be in the lineup on most trades (barring further trades, which is always possible).
Additionally, David Sappelt should return at some point and Brett Jackson could get another look (though he’s struggled at Triple-A). Brian Bogusevic could also get a shot, once he’s healthy and off the DL.
The fact is, until the trade deadline comes and goes it’s tough to guess how the Cubs will look. Regardless, it seems like they are going to have several options, though the guys on the horizon may not offer much appeal.