By Phil Rogers
The Cubs’ have traded Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, with 21-year-old right-hander Corey Black the piece coming back to the Cubs, both teams announced Friday afternoon.
The Cubs will send $17.7 million to the Yankees to help offset the $24.5 million owed Soriano. The deal is structured in such a way that the Cubs will be responsible for $13 million of Soriano’s $18 million salary in 2014, leaving the Yankees with only a $5 million hit against baseball’s soft salary cap.
Multiple reports have said the Cubs were given a choice of second-tier pitching prospects to choose from, and the belief is they’ll take Black, a high-A starter with a big arm, over Double-A closer Tony Kahnle.
Both Black (25) and Kahnle (29) were ranked prospects by Baseball America within the Yankees’ farm season at the beginning of the season. Black, 21, has gone 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 19 starts for Tampa. He has 88 strikeouts and 82 2/23 innings but has walked 45.
Black has had a less than textbook development. He underwent Tommy John surgery while in high school in San Diego. He began his college career at San Diego State but transferred to NAIA school Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., after a conflict with the Aztecs’ coaching staff. Scouts praise his quick arm. He reportedly hit 100 mph during Instructional League last fall and never pitched below 94 with his fastball. He’s only 5-11 but is considered athletic.
Soriano flew from Phoenix to New York overnight and will play for the Yankees against Tampa Bay tonight.
Phil Rogers is a freelance contributor to Baseball America.
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