Yankees set to re-sign Ichiro

With their pitching targets in hand and Kevin Youkilis on hold, the Yankees have turned their attention to addressing their hole in right-field, and that means getting serious with Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees have been pursuing Ichiro fiercely for the past few days, and now pretty much all the usual sources are reporting that a deal between the two sides is imminent. No word on the contours being discussed, but it’s safe to assume the 39 year old Ichiro will only be in line for a one year deal, with a pretty steep decline in his salary to boot.

After kicking this around last night, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. My first inclination is to be okay with it, but I do worry that I’m letting Ichiro’s surprisingly strong finish to last season cloud my estimation of what we can reasonably expect him to do in 2013. Is .322/.340/.454 over a full season a reasonable expectation for a 39 year old who hit .272/.310/.335 back in 2011? Maybe not, but it is hard to get over how good Ichiro looked down the stretch last year, and given that the opportunity cost is so low on this move, I can’t really get exercised about  it in either case. If nothing else he’ll provide plus outfield defense that should be a big help to the Yankees’ pitchers, especially Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, and his base running and contact skills will diversify the offense a bit. The biggest variable here probably isn’t even Ichiro, honestly, but how well Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter perform as the core of the offense. If those guys are up to par, Ichiro should be fine as a role player.

So yeah, I think I can live with Ichiro for one more 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.

6 thoughts on “Yankees set to re-sign Ichiro

  1. jay_robertson

    Your statement concerning the "Big Boys" says it all. If the big money players (finally) do their jobs, Ichiro should be fine. As long as the team's only offense doesn't come thru Ichiro – as it did in Detroit – the Yankees will be fine.

    btw, if only a touch ot – I love the way the headline pics are chosen to reflect the author's story angle – in this one, Suzuki is aging, and we get a shot without the cap, with the lighting making it look as if he's graying faster than Billy Bob Thornton. Nice touch.

  2. Bill

    Ichiro in RF, Youkilis at 3B and a trade of Granderson and you probably will have a more diversified offense that will still hang ~800 runs on the board. With a healthy pitching staff, that should work out to a win total in the low-mid 90s, which should translate into a postseason berth or at least a real good shot at it. And that might be the most reasonable expectation as of December 11. A major trade to plug some other holes might revise this scenario in a more positive direction.

  3. uyf1950

    Sign Ichiro, then sign Scott Hairston as the 4th outfielder/right hand DH. Kick Youkilis in the butt to make a decision and the only position left pretty much is catcher if Cashman doesn't think the in house options are good enough.

  4. Kevin S

    Ichiro at least showed he could hit in October–more than Nick Swisher ever did and ARod usually does–not a great player at 39 but as stated not gettin paid like others who should carry offense–what happened to Tex?

    • Chris

      I think Tex was battling nagging injuries and illness for a good portion of the season (aside from the usual slow decline). I expect a better season from him this year (not much mind you) and his glove is the best in the game. He prevents so many runs from scoring and eats up so many errors that you can't just look at his rbi/avg/hr in evaluating his season(s).

  5. tony

    Why can't Cashman ever make a trade like other g.m.'s ? All he does is sign old players no imagination. We can't get Justin Upton for a package of grandy , Hughes

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