While the eyes of the baseball world were on the Home Run Derby last night, the Yankees were conducting a bit of roster business in preparation for the second half of the season. Alfonso Soriano was released outright after being designated for assignment on July 6th. To no one's amazement, nobody wanted to trade for a washed up outfielder with no bat speed. They also sent Bryan Mitchell back down to Triple-A, leaving them with 24 men on the active roster.
For Soriano, this is a sad way to end his second stint in pinstripes. He was electric upon his initial return last year, smacking 17 HR in less than 60 games to give fans something to cheer about. That success did not carry over to this season, as his .221/.244/.367 slash line and career-worst 29.8% K rate said more about what he had left in the tank than any of his words ever could. I have to think this move will lead to Soriano announcing his retirement after this season.
As for the roster spot, I hope it's for another starting pitcher. The Yanks cannot continue to let Chase Whitley work as a starter, even with Tanaka out, and that's something I'll discuss in greater detail later this morning. They should move him back to the bullpen and replace Mitchell with a new 5th starter.