Alfonso Soriano went hitless in five at-bats in his return to the New York Yankees almost a decade after being traded for Alex Rodriguez.
Soriano struck out in his first three appearances, then reached base as he hit into a fielder’s choice that saw David Adams out at second in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 10-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He later scored on a double by catcher Chris Stewart.
In the ninth inning, the leftfielder again hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Brett Gardner while Adams was again forced out at second.
The Chicago Cubs received pitching prospect Corey Black in return for Soriano, a 37-year-old outfielder, the Yankees said in a statement. Soriano is owed about $25 million for the final year of a $136 million, eight-year deal that expires after next season, MLB.com said. The Cubs will pick up $17.7 million, according to ESPN.com.
The Yankees wanted to sign Soriano before Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline because of a lack of hitting power caused by injuries. Soriano has eight home runs in July, one more than the entire Yankees team.
New York ranks 24th of 30 major-league teams with 88 home runs this season after leading the majors with 245 homers in 2012. The Yankees’ 395 runs rank 22nd after finishing second in that category last year with 804.
The Yankees have been without players including Derek Jeter and Rodriguez this season. Curtis Granderson, who hit a team-high 43 home runs last year, and Mark Teixeira, who had 24 homers, are also on the disabled list.
The Yankees are fourth in the five-team American League East with a 54-49 mark, seven games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays. New York has made the playoffs all but one year since 1995, and has won five World Series championships in that span.
Soriano is batting .251 this season with 17 home runs and 52 runs batted in. During his 15-year career, which began in 1999 with the Yankees, he has a .272 batting average with 389 home runs, 1,989 hits and 1,087 RBI.
The Yankees traded Soriano to the Texas Rangers for Rodriguez on Feb. 2, 2004. He played two seasons with the Rangers and one for the Washington Nationals before joining the Cubs in November 2006.