Sources told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that the Yankees do not plan on offering Ichiro Suzuki or Raul Ibanez a qualifying offer, no surprise there, but that they would like to see both of the veterans return on short-term deals.
Ichiro is coming off a five-year deal that paid him $90 million over five years and $17 million in 2012. He’ll get no where near that, but reports have suggested that he would be fine with something in the $5-$8 million range. I tend to think that the Yankees want to draw the line at $5 million, but they might go to $8 million if it meant getting him on a one-year deal.
The Yankees signed Ibanez to a deal worth $1.1 million in base salary back in February of last year. He ended up being paid $3.15 million after incentives. Considering he’ll turn 41 next year, they probably wouldn’t be willing to give him much more than that for another year.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said this offseason that while ideally he would prefer a younger, better player, that he doesn’t want to get younger just for the sake of getting younger and that sometimes older players are better. I guess that means he’s not afraid of signing players close to 40-years-old. The other outfielder the Yankees are connected to through rumors is Torii Hunter so even the alternatives are old.
Ichiro hit .283/.307/.390 in 159 games this season. He played much better once he went to the Yankees though and finished with a .322/.340/.454 line in 64 games in Pinstripes. Ibanez finished at .240/.308/.453 in 129 games and did well against righties, with a .248/.319/.492 line against them.