Rumor: Yankees interested in Shane Victorino

The market for free agent outfielder Shane Victorino is starting to heat up with at least seven teams interested in signing him including the Yankees, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Victorino has said he’s looking for a five year deal, but that doesn’t seem likely. It sounds like there are a few teams willing to sign him to a three year deal though. The Yankees have been reluctant to offer multi-year deals to free agents, but it’s possible that they could see Victorino as a slightly cheaper option that helps them to stay under the $189 million payroll in 2014.

Victorino is coming off the worst season of his career, but he will only be 32 next season so last year may have been a bit of an anomaly.

The Yankees could potentially see him as an alternative option to Ichiro Suzuki because like Ichiro Suzuki he is a good base runner and fielder, but he’s a slightly better hitter. He has hit .275/.341/.430 in his career and .264/.334/.432 over the past three years. If they can get Ichiro on a one-year deal it seems hard to believe they would be willing to go three years with Victorino though.

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13 Responses to Rumor: Yankees interested in Shane Victorino

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Victorino a slightly better hitter? Career numbers give Suzuki a higher BA .322 to .275, a higher OBP .365 to .341, lower slugging .419 to .430. Last year Suzuki's line with the Yanks was .322/.340/.454, Victorino's .255/.321/.383. Victorino might have more left in the tank, but he's not a better hitter.

    • I don't think it's fair to compare Ichiro back then to Victorino now. Ichiro is 39 and is coming off a .697 OPS season. Victorino is coming off his worst ever season and had a .667 OPS. Considering he's 32, it was probably an anomaly, but with Ichiro it's more of a trend. The Yankees aren't signing Ichiro from 5 years ago.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        Of course Ichiro is well past his prime, but he was better last year with the Yankees than Victorino was with the Dodgers, this really wasn't close. If you signed Ichiro for 1 year you could expect to get production simliar to last season. If you signed Victorino, it would probably have to be for 3 years, and you'd be HOPING for him to rebound from last year to make it a decent contract. For 1 year Ichiro is clearly the better player, for 3 years it would be Victorino. But to sign a 32 year old player, who seems to be in decline, to a 3 year deal isn't exactly visionary thinking.

        • Mike Sommer says:

          Oh really? How many old players do you want on this team? 1/3 of the team could be over 35 (Chavez, Ichiro, A-Rod, Jeter, Kuroda, Ibanez, Pettitte and Mo). As much as I love some players, that is WAY too many.

          • Tanned Tom says:

            I do agree. My point, which I guess I did not make clear, is that I would prefer Ichiro for 1 year over 3 years of the Flyin' Hawaiian. But if Victorino at 32, whose numbers are trending downward, for 3 years is acceptable, then why not just re-sign Swisher (31) for 4 years? Swisher is clearly the better player.

          • Paul says:

            I guess you have to define "old" in the case of Ichiro. Jeter has said that Ichiro has the body type of a 30 year old, has never even had a pulled muscle in all the years he has played, still is one of the fastest and best defensive outfielders in baseball, batted .322 for the Yankees with an OPS of .794 . By the way, this old man has played 160+ games for the last 3 years and 157 or more games every year in his career except 2009, when a bleeding ulcer limited him to 146 games and only 225 hits ! Most importantly he is a professional hitter who is not intimidated on the NY postseason stage. I would much rather have Ichiro at age 39 up in a critical post season situation rather than Victorino.

          • Mike Sommer says:

            I don't have to define old. All you have to do is look at his birth certificate. Ichiro had always been one of my favorite non-Yankees players. It was nice to see him have a resurgence upon joining the Yankees. However he was what, a .268 hitter with an OPS+ of 85 or so in the year and a half before joining the Yankees? If he reverts to that, then there is a problem. I wouldn't mind Ichiro back but would be ok if he wasn't back. The bigger problem is if all the Yankees aging stars all hit the wall at the same time.

          • Paul says:

            Just looking at his birth certificate is short sighted. You have to look at what physical condition the individual is in. I remember that last year Jeter was considered washed up – just look at his birth certificate! I believe the "old man" had 216 hits at his advanced age ! The point I was trying to make is that Ichiro at 39 is in as good a shape as the typical 30 year old athlete. He is still one of the fastest guys in baseball, still great defensively, batted .322 for the Yankees and has played in 160+ games the last 3 years . He was far more productive and clutch than some of our younger guys like Cano, Granderson, Swisher, et al.
            I agree that it would be a problem if all the Yankee aging stars hit the wall at the same time. I just don't think that would be the case with Ichiro. Obviously the Yankees need to have the right age mix, but I prefer Ichiro at bat in a critical situation than Victorino. If there was a better younger proven alternative than Ichiro, then of course the Yankees should go that way, I just don't think Victorino is that guy.

          • Tanned Tom says:

            What is the better risk? 1 year of a HOFer who showed that he can still play at a very high level, or 3 more expensive years of a player in decline. Victorino is good, I'll take him, but you can't seriously compare these 2 players. The last 2 years in Seattle Ichiro seemed demoralized by all the losing, and playing in NY seemed to rejuvenate him. His level of play was a cut above what could be expected of Victorino.
            And since the focus is on the cap for 2014, this decision is a no-brainer. As far the other old guys go, I'll take Jeter and Mo, Pettitte and Kuroda. I'd cut ties with Chavez, Ibanez, A. Jones, A-roid (as if that were possible), Garcia.

  2. Since it's not fair to compare players over such a small sample size as 2 months let's be a little more realistic:

    Ichiro's OPS last year: .697 (95 OPS plus)
    Ichiro's OPS last 2 years: .670 (90 OPS plus)
    Victorino's OPS last year: .667 (85 OPS plus)
    Victorino's OPS last 2 years: .771 (109 OPS plus)

    Considering one is 39 and one is 32, I don't think anybody can say for certain that Ichiro is the better option even for one year. You have to separate what these two have done in the past from what we can realistically expect.

  3. jersey joe says:

    i like ichiro here…call a gut feeling but im not in love with the "flyin Hawaian". but more importantly what exactly are the yankees telling us with all these 1 and done contracts? this isnt basketball, expiring contracts are worthless in baseball. is it me or are they just saying "we will be just as good as last year, but boy are we gonna suck in 14" ?

  4. FRED MARIANI says:

    CASHMAN AND hAL SEEM CONTENT TO HAVE A LINE UP OF 230 BATTERS THAT SWING FOR THE FENCES AND LEAVE MEN ON IN KEY SITUATIONS.THIS TEAM,WITH THIS MANAGEMENT,WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER RING.GEORGE IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE.CT FRED

  5. FRED MARIANI says:

    THE ONLY WAY THIS NEW YANKEE OWNERSHIP WILL GO AFTER REAL TALENT IS IF YANKEE FANS STAY HOME AND COMMUNICATE AN IMPORTANT MESAGE " WE WILL NOT PAY 100 BUCKS A SEAT TO WATCH PLAYERS THAT ARE HAS BEENS" THE YANKS HAVE BECOME JUNK COLLECTORS WHILE STILL DEMANDING TOP DOLLAR FOR SEATS.