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A coming of age for Soriano
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02/18/2004  8:00 PM ET
A coming of age for Soriano
Yankees, Rangers were both aware infielder is 28
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Alfonso Soriano, 28, may be the Rangers' oldest infielder in 2004. (Al Behrman/AP)
PHOENIX -- It appears that Alfonso Soriano has already come of age as a member of the Texas Rangers, but he actually made the change last season.

Last summer, Soriano informed the Yankees he was not as young as had been reported, and was in fact two years older, closer to 28 than 26.

The infielder was originally listed with a birth date in 1978, but he was really born on Jan. 7, 1976. The correct date would have been reflected in New York's media guide this season had he remained with the Yankees. The Rangers were aware of Soriano's age when they completed the deal that sent Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees earlier this week.

"We knew about his age," Rangers spokesperson Greg Elkin said. "The Yankees told us, but we knew it already. His correct age was in the bio we released when we made the trade."

According to Elkin, Soriano's birth date was listed wrong when he played in Japan and the information carried over when he signed a contract with the New York Yankees. The infielder eventually received a multi-entrance visa to enter the United States from Japan after signing with New York, but when U.S. immigration officials reviewed visas after Sept. 11, it was discovered that several professional baseball players from outside the United States, including Soriano, were actually older than they were listed.

Soriano is now potentially the oldest member among infielders for Texas. Second baseman Michael Young is 27 while third baseman Hank Blalock and first baseman Mark Teixeira are each 23. It has not been determined if Soriano will play second base, shortstop or center field, although there have been reports he is hesitant to move to the outfield.

As for Rodriguez, he will be 29 in July.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.




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