Baseball: Nationals get Soriano from Rangers for Wilkerson, Sledge, prospect

Thursday, December 8, 2005

The Washington Nationals completed a trade late Wednesday night that sent outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Texas Rangers for All-Star second baseman Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano batted .268 with 36 homers, 104 RBIs and 30 stolen bases last season while earning $7.5 million. He is a career .280 hitter, with a .320 on-base percentage and an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .820. Soriano turns 30 in January and his contract ends after the 2006 season.

For the Nationals, Wilkerson batted .248 last year with 11 homeruns and 57 RBIs, but was sidelined for part of the season with a forearm injury. For his career, he is a .256 hitter with a .365 on-base percentage and an .817 OPS. He made just over $3 million in 2005, and he turns 29 in June of 2006.

Sledge only played 20 games in 2005 because he tore his hamstring, but he is most well-known in Washington for hitting the first homerun in Nationals history.

ESPN is reporting that the Nationals may play Soriano in the outfield because they already have Jose Vidro, a career .300 hitter, at second base. Vidro missed almost half of the 2005 season with leg problems.