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Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Club says it knew Soriano was 28

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alfonso Soriano is 28 years old, not 26, and that didn't come as a surprise to the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers knew Soriano was older than had been reported in the past when they acquired the two-time All-Star second baseman from the New York Yankees in the trade for AL MVP Alex Rodriguez this week.

"The Yankees were up front. Our people were fully aware of how old he was," Rangers spokesman Gregg Elkin said Wednesday. "Without a question, that was the information we had."

The Yankees' 2003 media guide and other baseball information list Soriano's birth date as Jan. 7, 1978. He was actually born two years earlier.

Soriano told Yankees officials about the age discrepancy last summer. General manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that the change was going to be reflected in this year's media guide before the trade.

In news releases this week confirming the trade of Rodriguez to the Yankees, Texas listed Soriano's correct age of 28.

Elkin said Soriano's birth date was initially listed wrong when he played in Japan. That information carried over when the Dominican-born infielder signed a contract with the New York Yankees.

Soriano got a multi-entrance visa to enter the United States from Japan after signing his Yankee contract. The type of visa he had didn't come under the same scrutiny as others after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

When U.S. immigration officials reviewed visas after Sept. 11, it was discovered that several professional baseball players from outside the United States were actually older than listed on their records.