Clearly on the final leg of his career, given his noticeable defensive deficiencies, there were few who expected the strong offensive season that Alfonso Soriano was able to put up in 2013. Proving that he still can offer some offensive firepower, Soriano will enter the 2014 season with it being his last under contract. Soriano is entering his 14th season in the Major Leagues and will turn 39 this July, prompting the longtime veteran to tell George King of the New York Post that he’s started to consider his future following the 2014 season.
It depends on how I feel. If I am healthy I will play [in 2015]. If not, I will let it go. It depends how I feel.
Soriano projects to be the primary designated hitter for the New York Yankees. He will earn $18 Million this season, though just $5 Million of that will be paid by New York. His production at the plate will directly impact how much playing time he sees in this lineup, given the organization’s preference to use the DH position as a means to give players an occasional day off. Soriano would prefer the outfielder, according to King, but his limited range and other defensive concerns are well known at this point and the Yankees already have too many outfielders on the roster. Utilizing him there will likely be a limited option at most.
At the plate is where Soriano’s value lies. He hit .255/.302/.489 this past season in 626 PA between the Chicago Cubs and Yankees, adding 34 HR and 101 RBI while also striking out 156 times. He brings some pop to the lineup, but is hardly the same player he was earlier in his career when he’d also hit 40 doubles and steal 20 bases.
2014 could be Soriano’s final season in the Major Leagues, though he’ll largely be lost in the shadow of his own teammate’s retirement tour (Derek Jeter). Holding a career line of .272/.321/.504 with just over 2,000 hits and 406 HR, much of Soriano’s career pales in comparison to Jeter’s.