Soriano, of course, began his career with the Yankees in 1999. His first full season came in 2001 when Soriano finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting behind C.C. Sabathia and Ichiro Suzuki, who are now both members of the Yankees. Soriano was arguably the Yankees best player in 2002 and 2003. In '02, Soriano led the league in hits, runs scored and stolen bases while hitting .300 with 39 HR and 102 RBI. He finished third in the AL MVP balloting behind Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada.
But after a poor post-season in '03, the Yankees abruptly traded Soriano to the Texas Rangers for none other than A-Rod. After spending two seasons in Texas, Soriano was dealt to the Washington Nationals where he spent one season hitting a career high 46 home runs. Prior to the 2007 season, Soriano signed an 8-year, $136 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. Soriano helped the Cubs reach the post-season in both 2007 and 2008, but his offensive numbers began to decline in 2009. However, he did rebound in 2012 driving in 100 RBI for the first time since 2005.
This season, Soriano hit .254 with 17 HR and 51 RBI in 93 games for the Cubs.
Getting Soriano back is a huge move for the Yankees. While he is not the player who was named to seven consecutive All-Star teams, Soriano still wields a dangerous bat at the age of 37. He will much needed protection for Robinson Cano in the cleanup spot and give him a new lease on life. Soriano hasn't been in a pennant race in five years and this deal also gives him the psychological boost of effectively replacing the man for whom he was traded nearly a decade ago. A-Rod might very well never play again because of injuries and/or a possible lifetime ban by MLB over use of HGH. Soriano now has the opportunity to step into the breach and make the case the Yankees should never have traded him in the first place.
The Yankees are hosting the Tampa Bay Rays and are presently six and a half games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. I predict that Soriano will be the spark which leads the Yankees into the post-season.
UPDATE: Apparently, Yankees GM Brian Cashman didn't want to reacquire Soriano, but was overruled by the Steinbrenner Bros. The drama never ends.
UPDATE II: Perhaps Cashman has changed his tune. On Sunday, Soriano went 4 for 5 with a home run and a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yankees a 6-5 victory over the Rays. Derek Jeter also made his return from his second stint on the DL and hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Rays starter Matt Moore. Jeter went 2 for 4.