Soriano traded from Cubs and rejoins a weak-hitting Yankee team desperate for a power surge

  • Article by: BEN WALKER , AP Baseball Writer
  • Updated: July 26, 2013 - 11:15 PM

NEW YORK — Alfonso Soriano took one look around Yankee Stadium and broke into a big, familiar smile.

"This is my house, this is my home," he said. "I'm happy I have the opportunity to come back to New York — 10 years."

The New York Yankees reacquired Soriano in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on Friday, hoping the seven-time All-Star can provide a power boost to a team that desperately needs pop.

Soriano went 0 for 5, scored a run and drove in one while batting cleanup in a 10-6 loss to Tampa Bay. He flied out with the bases loaded to end the third inning, then grounded into a forceout with the bases loaded in the ninth.

"It's a good day for me today to have a chance to put on the uniform again," he said.

"I hope we have a better chance tomorrow," he said. "It's a tough day tonight."

Soriano did more with his glove, catching a fly to start the game, making a throw to help nail a runner and running down a foul ball. It was the first time he played outfield for the Yankees.

"It's a little different, because, in the old one, I used to play second base. In the new one, I play left field now," he said.

The Cubs got minor league pitcher Corey Black and will send almost $17.7 million to the Yankees to cover much of Soriano's rich contract.

"We've obviously been trying to improve our offense, to no avail, throughout this season," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "By far, he is the best available bat to date."

Soriano outhomered the Yankees all by himself (10-8) in the four weeks prior to the deal. Overall, the 37-year-old hit .254 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs with the Cubs.

The Bronx Bombers led the majors with 245 home runs last year, but have become the Bronx burn-outs this season, ranking next-to-last in the AL with only 88. Banged up, they've played most of the year without Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Their slump from the right side — Soriano hits righty — is even more acute. It's been a month since a right-hander homered for the Yankees, with Jayson Nix the last to do it on June 25.

Soriano got a big ovation when the public-address announcer read the lineups and welcomed him with "and once again a Yankee." Soriano saluted the stadium's Bleacher Creatures during their roll call, and was cheered again when his past Yankees highlights were shown on the video board.

Wearing his socks high, Soriano got an assist when his throw led to an inning-ending out in the top of the second. He led off the bottom half and flied out.

Soriano made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1999 and quickly blossomed into a rare package of speed and power. In 2002, he hit 39 homers and 51 doubles while batting .300, stealing 41 bases, scoring 128 runs and driving in 102.

"He's not the same player he used to be," Cashman said, "but he certainly provides some thunder from the right side that we've been lacking."

Cashman hinted, too, that more deals might be in the works.

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