Alfonso Soriano is hitting .256/.286/.471 this season. His OPS is his second-lowest since his rookie year, and he’s still under contract through next season. But the Yankees interest in him, as first reported by George King, speaks to the state of this lineup (and probably to his own availability). Soriano is not the hitter he used to be, but he can help the Yankees…
From the right side
As a team, the Yankees are batting .219/.283/.306 as right-handed hitters. That’s the lowest such OPS in the majors by quite a bit. They’ve had trouble all year finding a right-handed designated hitter, and they’ve badly missed the expected production of guys like Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter. Even Francisco Cervelli would be a right-handed upgrade at this point.
In left field
Yankees left fielders are hitting .224/.268/.331 this season. Vernon Wells had one good month but has slipped significantly since then, and even now that he’s hitting for a decent average again, it’s coming with no power. Zoilo Almonte’s strong first few weeks largely disappeared. Just like they do from the right side, the Yankees have the game’s lowest OPS production from left field.
In the middle of the order
Soriano’s .471 slugging percentage would be the second-highest on the Yankees roster. His 17 home runs are more than any Yankees player other than Robinson Cano. His 24 doubles would lead the team. Even in a down year, Soriano would have to be considered the Yankees second or third-best hitter.
Associated Press photo