The New York Yankees‘ infield has gone from one of the best in MLB to one of the most questionable in less than two years. Now with Alex Rodriguez suspended and Robinson Cano sitting on a pile of cash courtesy of the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees are in desperate need of durable infielders who can play on both sides of the ball. Alfonso Soriano is that guy.
Soriano came up with the Yankees and was the team’s everyday second baseman for three seasons. He continued his role once traded to the Texas Rangers and was an All-Star twice. The Washington Nationals then acquired Soriano and moved him to the outfield, a move in which he strongly disliked and even refused to make initially.
Once he relented, Soriano then mastered the outfield and has played mainly left field ever since. What better time to return to his natural position then with the team that gave him his first shot in MLB?
The Yankees undoubtedly have enough capable defensive players in Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan. What the team’s infield doesn’t have is enough players who can hit the ball. Mark Teixeira seems to be the only infielder who is a lock for production at the plate, and that is if he can stay healthy. Soriano playing at second or third would erase the liability that comes with playing someone like Ryan, who hasn’t posted a batting average above .200 since 2011.
The Dominican Republic native just turned 38 and his speed has expectedly regressed in recent years. However, Soriano’s power hasn’t left him just yet. He has hit over 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of the past two seasons.
Though he hasn’t consistently played second base in nearly a decade, I expect Soriano to get considerable time at the position in order to add some power to the infield on days when the DH spot is being used by those who will undoubtedly need it. The extra infielder the Yankees have been looking for has been there the whole time.