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Alfonso Soriano shooting for possible 2015 return to the big leagues

Alfonso Soriano struggled as a part-time starter for the Yankees before his release. (USATSI)
Alfonso Soriano struggled as a part-time starter for the Yankees before his release. (USATSI)

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Seven-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano, released by the Yankees earlier this month, has told friends he expects to take the rest of this season off, then consider next season whether to return to play in the majors.

Soriano hit 34 home runs splitting time between the Cubs and Yankees in 2013, so his departure after a slow start this year seemed rather abrupt. This is the final year of Soriano's $136 million, eight-year deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2007 season.

A few teams have talked to Soriano since the Yankees designated him for assignment July 4, but after being away for nearly four weeks he has told friends he believes he would need time to get into playing shape, making next year seem more realistic. Soriano, 38, has 412 career home runs.

Soriano also isn't sure he's cut out to be a part-time player, as he was this year with the Yankees. He posted an .850 OPS last year and helped keep the Yankees in the playoff race longer than most expected, but he struggled this year as he became a sometime starter, hitting just six homers and posting a .221 batting average and .611 OPS in 67 games with the Yankees.

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