Ichiro wants to stay a Yankee

My guess is that, if the Yankees had their druthers, Ichiro Suzuki would be their starting right fielder when Openin Day rolls around this spring. According to Joel Sherman, that would be just fine with Ichiro himself. Sherman reports that someone close to Ichiro told him that the Japanese superstar loved his time in New York, particularly “playing in a professional, winning atmosphere.” He also expresses doubt that money would be an impediment to a deal if the Yankees want him back, noting that Ichiro deferred money on his last contract to make staying in Seattle possible.

On the other hand, Sherman also noted that the Giants are likely to have a lot of interest in acquiring Ichiro, and that they tried very hard to trade for him back in July. He also expresses skepticism that the Yankees would really have both Ichiro and Brett Gardner starting in the outfield, as they’re still a team built around power. My guess is that, thanks to the difficulties of complying with ownership’s austerity dictates, that won’t really be an issue now. After all, if the Yankees were that hungry for power, they wouldn’t essentially be letting Nick Swisher just walk away, would they? The free agent is market is also pretty thin on power hitting lefties, so unless the Yankees can swing a trade for Justin Upton, I’m pretty sure they’ll be just fine giving Ichiro another shot after the way he played in pinstripes this year.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

16 thoughts on “Ichiro wants to stay a Yankee

  1. David

    Player A: 177 H, 68 R, 12 HR (46 XBH), 12 BB, 51 K, 34 SB — .340 OBP / .454 SLG
    Player B: 146 H, 75 R, 24 HR (60 XBH), 77 BB, 141 K, 2 SB — .364 OBP / .473 SLG

    The first is Ichiro, if his Yankee stats were extrapolated out to 162 games.
    The second is Swisher, with his full body of work this year.

    Oh, right: Swisher was -12 DRS / Suzuki was +12 DRS (at least with SEA).

    Now, I love me some Nick Swisher — really I do. And I'd totally prefer Swisher to Granderson (assuming the eye thing checks out fine for him), but if Ichiro performs at that level compared to Swisher for 1/3rd of the money or so? That seems to be a no-brainer? We all saw what motivation did for Jeter this year…

    • Rob

      You would prefer Swisher over Granderson? By that logic, you would rather have Ichiro over Granderson? Seriously?

      • David

        Yes, I'd prefer Swisher to Granderson — but I agree that's a) unpopular and b) not really grounded in numbers but in personality.

  2. Jacques

    Not sure if he is willing to take a one year deal with the possibility of being a platoon player once he goes into a slump or if the yankees acquire a bat come trade deadline

  3. Dude, you have to stop with the URL stuff. Everyone keeps reporting it. From now on, unless the link is relevant to the subject, it will be deleted.

    • It does make me chuckle, though – I keep reading it as "NY Sport Sex Change."

    • Tommy

      Can you ban hashtags while you're at it? They're awful.

      • #banned

        • Tommy

          Sacrebleu.

  4. jay_robertson

    I'd prefer Swish – even with his swoon – but not on a 5+ year contract.

    We have younger guys coming up – if Ichiro will sign on for a year, I'm good with it. SSS and all, but while he was here, he had the team's best batting average, didn't he? (if not best, he was second – still works for me) I'll take a guy who gets on any day of the week over a guy who strikes out 5 times, and then hits a random home run.

    Power's cool – but getting on base is not a bad thing.

    otoh, should Mr. Suzuki want a multi year contract – RUN.

  5. Edmund_Dantes

    Building around power=building around strikeouts. Gardner in center Ichiro at a corner and get someone else for the other,even if its a short term.Trade Granderson.

    • Bill

      Agreed. You can still hit 200 or more home runs as a team and not strike out to the extent this team did in 2012. If Martin returns and gives you similar power numbers, you'll get power in two spots (2B and C) that you normally don't. Thus you can get away with a little less power in RF. Plus, Ichiro over a full season will probably get you around 12-15 home runs anyway playing 81 games in the Bronx. Gardner probably could get into low double digits also if healthy. With that porch you don't necessarily need a bonafide power hitter. Someone with average power and a better contact rate will likely get the job done just fine. Would like to keep Swisher, but that's not realistic. Granderson can go.

    • michael

      This isn't supported by fact. The Yankees were 10/30 in fewest strikeouts this season, despite all the homeruns and league-leading park-adjusted offense.

      • jay_robertson

        As a TEAM. Take away Granderson, they move up. Substitute Grandy's 1.22 strikeouts per game with a "patient" hitter like, say, Cano – who had .60 strikeouts per game.

        All of a sudden, the Yankees are no longer 10th, but between 3rd and 4th best. Obviously, get a more patient replacement, the difference will be more pronounced.

        If improvements are made at the margins, that looks like a good place to start.

  6. uyf1950

    Over the past couple of days I've read where the Angels are NOT likely to re-sign Torii Hunter. He would seems like a pretty good choice for the Yankees outfield on a 2 year deal. It also might allow the Yankees to let Granderson walk after the 2013 season. They could make Granderson a qualifying offer after the 2013 season and get a draft choice when he turns it down.

    It means assuming they don't want to re-sign Ichiro for the 2013 season. The Yankees could go with an OF of: Gardner, Granderson and Hunter for 2013.

  7. Mark

    I would take Swisher over Granderson everyday… I love Gradys power, just wish he was a base stealing threat. Swisher is a switch hitter, can play first and would be cheaper then Granderson. Being able to play first is a big plus. Give Tex a full day or, or just a half, still have a good glove to cover down for him at first.

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