Soriano agrees to one-year deal with Yankees

Updated: January 20, 2004, 9:07 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- All-Star second baseman Alfonso Soriano agreed to a $5.4 million, one-year contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration.

Alfonso Soriano
Second Base
New York Yankees
Profile
2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
156 38 91 114 35 .290

Soriano was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He made $800,000 last year, when the Yankees renewed his contract.

Soriano's stats slipped somewhat last season, when he batted .290 with 38 homers, 91 RBI and 35 steals. In 2002, he hit .300 with 39 homers, 102 RBI and 41 steals.

A free swinger, he cut his strikeouts from 157 in 2002 to 135 last year, but he hit just .130 (4-for-30) in the AL Championship Series against Boston and .227 (5-for-22) in the World Series loss to Florida. Manager Joe Torre even benched him before Game 5 of the World Series.

Soriano, an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, is eligible for free agency after the 2005 season.

He made 19 errors last season, prompting speculation that the Yankees might try to move him to the outfield. But during the offseason, New York signed free-agent outfielders Gary Sheffield and Kenny Lofton.

Left-hander Gabe White, who became a free agent after the season and then accepted the Yankees' arbitration offer last month, asked for $2.7 million and was offered $1,825,000.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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