Soriano is in the seventh year of a an eight year $136 million deal. He’s still has roughly $24.5 million owed to him on that deal and the Yankees will be on the hook for $6.8 million of it ($1.8 million in 2013 and $5 million in 2014).
I don’t really like this deal for the Yankees. Sure, Soriano will help them, but not a ton. He’s hitting just .249/.281/.457 this season which is about what we should expect from him. I can’t see that as being a huge boost toward their playoff run this year and if he’s more than a bench player for next year’s team then they are in big trouble.
It’s not like they are paying a ton for him next year, but $5 million is just enough that the Yankees won’t be quick to cut him even if he’s terrible (see Travis Hafner). Meanwhile, they are piling up payroll on players who will be around next year, but can’t be expected to do much (Soriano, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki will earn a combined $13.9 million) even as the team tries to lower the payroll below $189 million.
Corey Black is a good, but not great prospect. He has a career 3.79 ERA in two minor league seasons with a 9.2 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. He throws in the mid-to-high 90’s and has two secondary pitches. We ranked him as the No. 40 prospect in the organization, but I think Greg Corcoran would agree with me that an argument could have been made for No. 30 at this point and he projects as a decent major league reliever.
Meanwhile, the Yankees aren’t that far out of a playoff spot, eight in the division and four in the Wild Card. However, looking at this lineup and it doesn’t inspire thoughts of some great, late rally. Even with Soriano and the eventual return of Curtis Granderson there will still be glaring holes in the lineup. So for me, I don’t think the Yankees have done enough to make much of an impact and have given up a solid pitching prospect.
It feels like they’ve made a trade just for the sake of making a trade. And I don’t like that one bit.
Photo credit: (July 25, 2013 – Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America).