NEW YORK -- Luis Sojo signed a minor league deal with the
New York Yankees and joined the team Monday for its game against
the Blue Jays in Toronto.
The Yankees made the move following an injury Sunday to
shortstop Derek Jeter, who is expected to miss at least three
Sojo last played in the majors 2001.
"We needed a short-term guy to fill in, and Luis Sojo was our
best option," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday.
"This was done because of Jeter."
Jeter left in the seventh inning of Sunday's 8-4 victory over Boston
with a slight muscle strain in his left rib cage. He's expected to
miss the team's three-game series in Toronto, but may return for
the Boston series beginning Friday.
Sojo sees it as a chance to end his career on the right note.
"They released me last year in spring training. It was not the
way I wanted to end my career, and I don't want to play for anybody
else," Sojo said Monday. "I could have played for somebody else,
but I wanted to retire with the Yankees. Now I get my chance."
Sojo said he doesn't expect to play much.
"Maybe I'll get one at-bat before I retire," he said.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said Sojo might not be on the roster
once Jeter returns. There might not be room for Sojo if they add a
few more players to the 40-man roster.
"He's a safety valve guy for us," Torre said. "We don't how
long he's going to be available to us. That will depend on Jeter,
but it's nice to have someone that you trust even though his skills
have diminished a bit."
Torre said he's not afraid to play the 38-year-old infielder.
"He's got good hands and a true arm. His range has never been
great, but he'll catch it when it's hit to him," Torre said.
Sojo played in parts of six seasons with the Yankees from
1996-2001 and was a member of four World Series championship teams.
He managed the Yankees' Double-A team in Norwich to the Eastern
League championship last season. After deciding not to manage
again, Sojo was playing in the Mexican League this season before
retiring in June. Later that week, the Yankees hired him as a
special assignment instructor.
Sojo played on Yankees teams that won World Series titles in
1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. His ninth-inning single in Game 5 of the
Subway Series drove in the run that clinched the 2000 championship
against the New York Mets.
When Jeter left Sunday's game, Wilson moved from second to shortstop and Soriano took over at second.
The Yankees also have shortstop Erick Almonte and third baseman
Aaron Boone, who can play second and shortstop.