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?…

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Rosenthal: Yankees making a push for Ichiro

So Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Yankees are “all over” Ichiro Suzuki.

 ”They are all over him,” one source says. “That (a deal with Ichiro) will happen.”

That quote made me laugh just because of the imagery.

Ichiro came over to the Yankees in July after a trade with Seattle. He batted .261 with a .642 OPS in his 95 games with the Mariners. Then turned things around once he got to New York and batted .322 with a .794 OPS in 67 games with the Yankees.

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Report: Indians close to signing Mark Reynolds

According to Jon Heyman, the Indians are close to signing Mark Reynolds:

Mark Reynolds close to signing with #indians

Reynolds was moved from third base to first and hit .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers and 69 RBI for the Orioles in 2012.

So how does this news affect the Yankees? Well, if the Indians sign Reynolds it could mean that Kevin Youkilis may end up in New York. The Indians, along with the Yankees were waiting on a decision from Youkilis – both teams offered him contracts – but with the Reynolds move, it looks like they may have gotten tired of waiting.

 

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Rodriguez to have surgery in mid-January

According to an AP report, Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery is scheduled for mid-January.

Rodriguez was at a breakfast this morning for the 150 students who are competing in his annual Miami basketball tournament. He spoke to the players about growing up in South Florida and then asked if they had any questions for him. He only got one and it was about his surgery. Really? There were no questions about who he’s dating? Or why it took so long for the hip injury to be diagnosed? Or better yet, no questions about why he doesn’t know his left from his right? I guess no members of the New York media were attending the luncheon.

I kid, I kid.

It was announced earlier this week that Rodriguez was going to need surgery on his left hip to repair a torn labrum and bone impingement. Rodriguez is waiting until mid-January so he can strengthen the area around his hip and recovery could be anywhere from four to six months.…

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Yankees still talking to Ichiro

Though their primary concern at the moment is waiting on a decision from free agent Kevin Youkilis, the Yankees still have a hole to fill in right field, and with that in mind they are still engaged in talks with their own Ichiro Suzuki, tweets Jon Heyman. Ichiro was a pleasant surprise during his time with the Yankees in 2012, including a very strong postseason performance, and would seem to be a natural fit for a team obsessed with avoiding anything more than one year contracts this winter. On the other hand, many have speculated that the Yankees don’t want to have an all left-handed hitting outfield, especially one that includes both Ichiro and fellow light-hitter Brett Gardner.

All the same, both sides seem to prefer a reunion, and I wonder if a lot of the feather fluffing from both sides isn’t designed as a ruse to push the other closer to an agreement.

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Someone from the Yankees checked out Josh Hamilton

This is just a very, very strange report from Bob Nightengale:

I say it’s strange because, well, why is someone other than the GM doing this? After all, yesterday the story was that Cashman lacked the authority to make any offers at the Winter Meetings because ownership was already clamping down on their payroll spending, and now today someone other than Cashman (so presumably someone above Cashman’s head) is running a background check on the top position player on the free agent market? Talk about night and day.

Of course, checking up on someone isn’t the same thing as being all that interested in signing him, and I would still put the odds that Hamilton lands with the Yankees at somewhere between slim and none. Then again, there is a distinctly similar feel to the way the Mark Teixeira signing went down: a middle of the order bat the Yankees could certainly use just sitting in limbo on the free agent market, with no one seemingly making a particularly strong push to sign him.…

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The Yankees are not hanging up on anyone

I guess this goes into the “semi-mundane things we kind of already knew” file, but ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand reported earlier that the Yankees were “listening” to offers on Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova. I say “listening” because the semantics of these things can matter quite a bit. Taken literally, “listening to offers” merely means that the Yankees are willing to entertain pitches for their players, and differs quite a bit from “shopping” someone. I would basically expect that the only players the Yankees wouldn’t so much as listen to realistic offers on are Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and C.C. Sabathia. In any case, listening doesn’t cost you anything, and people can’t say “yes” if you don’t give them the chance.

That doesn’t mean that absolutely nothing will come of this, of course. I still have trouble seeing where the Yankees are going to get good value for one year of Curtis Granderson, but Hughes and Nova I could at least imagine fetching a decent return if one team or another had a high opinion of them.…

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Yankees have made a big offer for Youkilis

Yesterday’s theme was potential Yankee targets signing with other teams, including a couple of potential interim third basemen in Eric Chavez and Jeff Keppinger. That’s left the board pretty thin as the Yankees look for someone to fill in for Alex Rodriguez, and apparently they don’t want a repeat of that, to say the least. According to Bryan Hoch, the Yankees have made Kevin Youkilis an offer of $12 million for one year, which jives with the “premium salary” he was supposedly looking for in exchange for a one year deal. That’s pretty strange, I guess, but the Yankees desperately need someone to plug the hole at third base, and if they’re going to insist on signing nothing but one year deals, they’re going to have to lay out more dollars for anyone but true scrap heap projects. I’m not terribly wild about Youkilis at this point in his career, but the alternatives are slim, and not overpaying anyone in 2013 likely means having too many holes to win the remarkably deep American League East.…

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And the first offer of the Winter Meetings goes to…

Nate Schierholtz! Come on down, you’re the first contestant on the $189 Million Pyramid!

Joel Sherman tweeted:

 Nate Schierholtz has an offer in hand from#Yankees, I believe it is 1st firm offer NYY has made to a position plyr this offseason

Yay?

Schierholtz split time between San Francisco and Philadelphia last year – he was traded to the Phillies in July. He batted .257/.321/.407 with a wOBA of.314 and wRC+ of 98 in 114 games.

I guess he’s better than nothing at this point. And I can’t wait to find out what the actual offer is.

Update: A tweet from @jcrasnick: Nate Schierholtz has agreed on 1 year deal with Cubs, source says

Now, the Yankees can’t even outbid the Cubs.

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