Silverman: Soriano Not The Answer For Banged-Up Yankees
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By Steve Silverman
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Do the New York Yankees really have to go to the Chicago Cubs to throw them a life preserver for their season?
Let’s be honest — this could be a very long year for Joe Girardi and Yankees fans.
The Yankees, as currently constituted, are nothing like the team that George Steinbrenner trotted out for so many years. These Yankees, under Prince Hal Steinbrenner, have an eye towards the bottom line and are no longer willing to spend money in order to be one of the most competitive teams in the American League.
The Yankees have been usurped in that area. The Los Angeles Angels will trot out Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton this season. Arte Moreno is the American League owner who is willing to pay in order to bring home a winner.
He’s joined by Mike Ilitch in Detroit and Nolan Ryan in Texas. Those owners have bypassed the Yankees when it comes to investing cash in their team.
The early part of spring training has not been pretty for the Yankees. Curtis Granderson has a fractured arm and will miss the first 10 weeks of the season.
The Yankees are considering their alternatives of trying to figure out how they are going to make up for the loss of his power.
Granderson hit 43 home runs last year and if he misses 10 weeks, he will be out until the middle of May. You figure that it will take at least two weeks to get his stroke down pat, so it may be until June 1 that Granderson’s power bat is back in the lineup.
So what should Brian Cashman do? Should he call Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs so he can work a deal for Alfonso Soriano to take a spot in the Yankees’ outfield?
It’s not just the two months of the regular season that Granderson will either be out of the lineup or working his way back to top form. It’s that the Yankees went through a power exodus in the offseason as they let bats like Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez go.
Soriano had a decent year in 2012 with the Cubs, the best he’s had since his first in a Chicago uniform (2007). In basic baseball stats, Soriano hit .262 with 32 homers and 108 RBI last year.
Soriano’s OBP/Slugging/OPS numbers were .322/.499/.821 last year.
He was clearly productive in 2012, but Soriano can’t be looked at solely by last year’s performance. In addition to being disappointing for the Cubs between 2008 and 2011 (to put it mildly), Soriano’s lack of ability in the field can’t be overstated.
He was actually decent as a fly chaser in 2012, but he has been a timid outfielder during his run in Chicago. He has been fearful of playing the ivy-covered outfield wall, lackadaisical in his pursuit of the ball and he’s made the rainbow throw back to the infield his signature.
He has not been a winning ball player since he left the Yankees back in 2003. He has enjoyed his baseball career since then and he has certainly gotten a thrill from his enormous pay days.
But Cashman would be kidding himself if he thinks that having Soriano on the roster is going to help the Yankees secure a playoff spot this year.
Cashman shouldn’t seriously think about bringing Soriano aboard if he is thinking about anything other than the numbers.
He’s not the answer, even under emergency circumstances.
Who do you want to see take over in Granderson’s absence? Be heard in the comments!