7/25 Soriano headed to Yankees

Alfonso Soriano is apparently headed back to the Yankees, where he began his Major League career. Soriano was in the Cubs’ starting lineup on Thursday for the series finale against the Diamondbacks, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein called manager Dale Sveum and asked him to pull the 37-year-old outfielder, saying a deal was “99 percent” completed.

Major League Baseball has to review the financial terms of the deal, and an official announcement may not come until Friday.

The Yankees were 6 1/2 games back in the American League East. Can Soriano help the Yankees?

“He’s going to a place that is obviously one of the better stadiums, and he’s been there before and has performed in that atmosphere before,” Sveum said. “Obviously, they’ve had a lot of injuries, and he’s the guy who can fill that void as [designated hitter] and in left field.”

Soriano has hit 10 home runs in his last 21 games, and was batting .286 in that stretch with six doubles, 21 RBIs and a 1.044 OPS, dating to June 28. He has homered in five of his last 14 games, and ranks seventh among active players in career home runs with 389.

– Carrie Muskat

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