With all signs pointing to Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano being traded to the New York Yankees, the AL East is going to be a must-watch as the season turns to the dog days of August. Although the division is not as tight as some may like it, a big bat for the Yankees gives the team an extra threat to the lineup.
Adding Soriano to the Yankees lineup adds protection around second baseman Robinson Cano, who has 21 home runs this season and is batting .302/.383/.519. If manager Joe Girardi sets the lineup correctly, opposing pitchers have to either to face Cano or Soriano.
Soriano’s power numbers are down so far this year, but with him heading back to the Bronx in the middle of a division race, a change of scenery and a chance to go to the playoffs is on the line. Something to play for might boost his confidence.
He spent five years with the Yankees before being traded to the Texas Rangers in the infamous Alex Rodriguez deal. He came one home run shy of joining the 40-40 club in 2002, finishing the year with 39 home runs and 41 stolen bases. His speed has tapered off since he is 37-years old, but the Yankees make a huge splash near the trade deadline.
A lineup that could feature Soriano, Cano, Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter at some point this season could get dangerous depending on how you look at. It could be what New York needs to propel them into an even tighter division race.