Source: Nats get Soriano

December 08, 2005|By DAN CONNOLLY | DAN CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER

Searching for a power bat to upgrade the major leagues' worst offense, the Washington Nationals yesterday acquired heavy-hitting Alfonso Soriano from the Texas Rangers for outfielders Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and a minor leaguer, according to an industry source.

The deal is pending Wilkerson's physical, the source said.

Soriano, Sledge and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga passed their physicals, the source said.

Nationals general manager Jim Bowden would neither confirm nor deny the report. However, he said earlier yesterday that he was involved in negotiations for a major trade.

Soriano, 29, has played second base for most of his career, but he could be switched to either center field or left field with the Nationals. Soriano hit .268 with 36 home runs, 104 RBIs and 30 stolen bases last season.

A source familiar with the negotiations said the Nationals were more interested in adding the power bat and would determine Soriano's position during spring training.

Soriano also could play second base if the injured Jose Vidro does not return healthy.

Wilkerson hit .248 with 11 homers and 57 RBIs in 148 games last season for the Nationals.

Sledge hit .243 with one home run in 20 games last year.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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