Yankees will re-sign Ichiro

I’m not really sure how to frame this report. According to multiple sources, first coming from WFAN’s Craig Carton and confirmed by both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, the Yankees will re-sign Ichiro Suzuki, but do not have a deal yet. Apparently the contours of the deal are still under negotiation, and Heyman reports that Ichiro might get as much as a two year contract from the Yankees, which would be really strange. I guess the best way to put it is that the two sides apparently have an agreement in principle, and one thing that does appear clear is that Ichiro will be roaming the Yankee Stadium outfield in 2013.

About Brien Jackson

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.

24 thoughts on “Yankees will re-sign Ichiro

  1. I like the idea of potentially giving Ichiro a 2 year deal, of course it depends on the dollars. Just my opinion but if the Yankees do sign Ichiro for 2 years I think you can scratch Granderson from the Yankees roster for 2014 and he will probably be gone this year, maybe before spring training. There might be some legs to those "rumors" that said the Yankees were entertaining trading Granderson.

  2. I don't think that would be the case. In any event the Yankees in 2014 will be looking for a 4th outfielder, Ichiro can fill that need then if necessary.
    As it stands now not counting Ichiro the Yankees will have 8 players who's contracts expire at the end of 2013 (that's not counting players they may not tender): Granderson, Cano, Kuroda, Pettitte, Youkilis, Rivera, Hughes and Chamberlain. That's an alwful lot of bodies to have to replace or have to re-sign in one off season. Now if you added Ichiro to that list that would make 9 players. I know Cashman's good but that's almost a Herculean task even for Cashman. And let's not forget Girardi's contract expires also at the end of 2013. What does his future hold?

  3. Ichiro looked to be in phenomenal shape. He's playing in a smaller ballpark, which should enhance his power and if he's playing RF, there's less room for him to navigate. Thus if we're worrying about wear and tear, it probably won't be that big an issue.

    This is the definition of a NOW team. And you've got a bunch of motivated older players. Hopefully Father Time stays away in 2013.

  4. I don't understand why they would give Ichiro a two-year deal, but not Martin. There are plenty of alternatives on the market to the declining Ichiro, but few to the much younger Martin. I know that people are excited about Ichiro because he had a big double-header and a few hits against Detroit, but the fact remains that Martin has been a better offensive player the past two seasons and is a catcher rather than a corner outfielder. Baffling move.

    • I can only guess that the second year must come REALLY cheap, and is primarily about giving Ichiro a chance for 3,000 hits or something.

    • Actually Ichiro had a great August and September for the Yankees.
      In August: .297 BA / .319 OBP / .440 SLG% with 12 RBI's
      In Sept.: .385 BA / .400 OBP / .516 SLG% with 11 RBI's and 9 stolen bases

      Once Ichiro got his feet wet in pinstripes he was actually pretty fantastic.

      • or, if Brien is right (I'm hoping he isn't) – that dead cat bounced pretty high in September.

        The naysayers are just saying they don't want to be under it when it falls. As they say in comedy, "Timing is everything."

        • Except your not comparing apples to apples. Ichiro's first 4 months of the season were spent in Seattle hitting at Safeco Field a much lest hitter friendly ballpark than Yankee Stadium. So it's a bit unfair to compare Ichiro's season OPS which was split 4 months at Seattle/2 months at Yankee Stadium. To Swisher's numbers all 81 games at the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium.

          Ichiro's OPS in August: .759 / his OPS in Sept. .916
          Swisher's OPS in August .937 / his OPS in Sept. 735

          Over the 2 month period an insignificant difference.

          • You place too much weight on small sample size statistics, and you have conveniently ignored his 2011 season.

            But I agree that we are "not comparing apples to apples." We are comparing an aging player well past his prime who has declined over the past two seasons with a player who is still in his prime and has yet to show any evidence of declining. I suspect that we can agree that player performance generally declines in the late 30's rather than improves. Do you expect Ichiro to buck that that trend simply because he had a good September? And how do Ichiro's Yankee stats look when you remove his big doubleheader?

          • Sherm, I had intended to reply in detail. But as I read your comment a second time I thought why waste my time. Have a good day.

          • And for the record, my only real objection is going two years for him, rather than one year. As a one-year stop gap with no impact on 2014's payroll, he'd be fine.

          • If they go 2 years but get him to take the brundt of his money for the first year that would set the yankees up to make budget in 2014.

          • I could be wrong, but i believe that MLB looks at average annual salary for luxury cap purposes, which means that there is no advantage to front loading the deal.

          • Nope. Front load is fine. Lots of players get paid less in successive years and that is part of the deal. Tex (I think) and Arod both have contracts that pay less at the end and the tax is triggered by the $ to put the roster on the field each year, not averaged out.

          • I had to look this up. Its average annual salary for the luxury tax.

            "But why not just sign free agents to backloaded contracts? Well, the Yankees could, but it won’t help them on the tax front. That’s because multi-year contracts are given an average annual value (AAV) for assessing the luxury tax, meaning a contract that calls for $10 million in Year 1, $12 million in Year 2, $15 million in Year 3, and $20 million in Year 4 counts as $14.25 million toward the threshold each season. Signing bonuses are also added in to figure out a contract’s AAV."

            BTW — I think that also means that if Cano were to sign an extension now rather than test the market next winter, they could decrease his AAS going forward by averaging in his past salaries from his current contract, which would make signing him and spending elsewhere much easier. But I don't see him doing that.

    • Matin a better offensive player? Martin cannot hit and we had to carry his bat all year. Where have you been? Defense isn't bad but he isn't that good. He was expendeble. Martin does hold a candle to Ichiro. Ichiro is a better defensive player hands down.

      • Martin had a higher OPS both of the last two seasons. Martin .732 in 2011 and .714 in 2012. Ichiro .645 in 2011 and .696 in 2012.

        • True, but Martin's numbers were awful LAST year and Ichiro rebounded well once he had protection in NY. You can't look at what Ichiro did playing in SAFECO with nobody else in the lineup compared to Martin batting between Jeter and Ibanez/Chavez. The mere fact that Martin hit so poorly with sooooo many good bats on the team reflects a guy who is lost at the plate. Teams went right after him knowing that Jeter was up next. That being said, Martin was well liked for his game calling and defense. Except for maybe by CC who seemed to prefer Stewart (or at least it seemed to me Stewart tended to catch CC quite a bit).

  5. I like Ichiro on a 2 year deal IF the contract is frontloaded so that 60-70% is paid in the first year. As others have mentioned, if he continues to slide, having 5-7million on the books for 2014 for a 4th outfielder hurts.

    The other odd thing of the idea of a 2 year deal presents the question of whether they intend to get rid of Grandy. 2 years means 2 years of he and Brett in the OF with a center fielder to be named for 2014. At the asking price that is likely to pop up, I don't see the Yanks offering Grandy another contract given that they will have to eat every free dollar to keep Cano.

  6. not sure why grandy doesn't get a lot more respect in this town…sure he had a terrible playoff run, but he is always classy, handles the media perfectly, and is a true ambassador for the team and league…if hip-rod hit 43 HRs, would anybody even mention his average?…let's hope curtis sees the eye doctor before spring training, gets some contact lenses, and gets back to hitting 280 or above once he is actually able to see the ball…if that happens, the discussion will be a lot different