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Yankees Trade Rumors: Alfonso Soriano? Aramis Ramirez? Why?

A report out of Chicago Thursday indicated that the New York Yankees could be interested in acquiring either outfielder Alfonso Soriano or third baseman Aramis Ramirez from the Chicago Cubs.

I have just one question. Why would the Yankees be interested in either of these guys?

Soriano, of course, is a former Yankee who fans remember as an exciting young second baseman who could hit 30+ home runs per year, average near .300 and steal 30-40 bases per year. He is not that player any longer. He is a .250 hitter (.261 right now) with decent power (mid 20s in homers the past three seasons and 14 this year. He is also a 35-year-old player with bad knees who can't run any longer (one stolen base this season), who is a poor outfielder and is owed about $65 million on what remains from an eight-year, $136-million deal that runs through 2014.

Sure, the Cubs would love to unload Soriano on the Yankees. And, sure, the Yankees could use a righty bat as an upgrade from Andruw Jones. But not at that price.

As for Ramirez, last time I checked the Yankees had a power-hitting third baseman named Alex Rodriguez. Ramirez, the report said, has an option year left on his contract that comes with a $16 million price tag. Again, with Jones hitting just .210 and Jorge Posada a futile .133 from the right side the Yankees could use a right-handed bat. 

I guess Ramirez (.298/14/49) could play third and Rodriguez could be the designated hitter against lefties. Again, though, I don't see why they would pay that kind of cost for a guy who would be a part-time player.