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Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano to Yankees for pitching prospect

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Alfonso Soriano and Son. What are the chances that we are looking at two All-Stars in this photo?
Alfonso Soriano and Son. What are the chances that we are looking at two All-Stars in this photo?
David Banks

The Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees finalized the Alfonso Soriano trade this morning, the Cubs sending the veteran outfielder to the Big Apple in exchange for a pitching prospect. As I write this, the name of the prospect hasn't been formally announced yet, but all indications are that it will be right-hander Corey Black.

Here is a report on the (probably) newest member of the Cubs organization. If it turns out to be someone other than Black, I'll write a separate report.

Corey Black, RHP: The Yankees drafted Black in the fourth round in 2012, from Faulkner University in Alabama. A San Diego native, he had begun his college career as a pitcher/infielder at San Diego State in 2010, but had a falling out with the coaching staff and transferred to Faulkner, an NAIA school, for '12. He was very successful there and his position in the '12 draft was appropriate for his talent level, so the weirdness with the Aztecs didn't hurt his draft stock much, if any.

Black posted a 3.08 ERA with a 50/15 K/BB in 53 innings between short-season Staten Island and Low-A Charleston in his pro debut last summer. Moved up to High-A Tampa for 2013, he has gone 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 19 starts, with an 88/45 K/BB in 83 innings, with 79 hits allowed.

Born on August 4, 1991, Black isn't a big guy, standing 5-11, listed at 175. As you would expect from a former shortstop, he is a very good athlete and has plenty of arm strength: he's been clocked as high as 100 MPH in short stints and works in the mid-90s as a starter. He has a curveball, slider, and changeup. Although none of his secondary pitches are considered outstanding, they off-set the fastball well when his command is on. His mechanics aren't the smoothest and his command is inconsistent, but he picks up strikeouts at a good clip.

If he throws strikes and makes further progress with his secondaries, Black can start at higher levels. If that doesn't work out, his arm would still look good in the bullpen.

Overall, Black is a good return for an old player like Soriano, who wouldn't be part of the next good Cubs team.

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