The news broke early this morning that Ichiro Suzuki had re-signed with the Yankees. It isn’t exactly true, but it will eventually happen as the two sides are getting very close, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The reason why the rumor that it was a done deal started making the rounds is because of local radio host Craig Carton tweeted it this morning. However, he’s essentially a clown who does no reporting and for all we know he read this report on BBD yesterday and thought it was a done deal. It isn’t though, but talks could be wrapped up by Friday.
It wasn’t hard to predict though. Things sounded close to done yesterday and Ichiro is basically ignoring offers from other teams, including the Phillies, because he so badly wants to return to the Bronx next year, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post.
The two sides are still working out the contract though. It sounds like it’s possible that Ichiro could even get a two-year deal out of the Yankees, but Heyman notes that it’ll be either a one-year deal, a one-year deal with a vesting option, or a two year deal which pretty much covers all the possibilities so nobody really knows yet.
Ichiro will be 39 next year. He hit .322/.340/.454 in 67 games after joining the Yankees. He has hit .277/.308/.361 over the past two seasons though so the Yankees are expected to find a right handed hitting outfielder to platoon with him. Even if he can’t replicate the success of his small sample size with the Yankees, he still provides them with excellent speed and defense so he could be valuable to them.
Ichiro made $17 million last season, but was paid just $2 million for two months with the Yankees. If he gets anything more than $6 million from the Yankees it will be an effective raise. My guess is that any contract he signs will include incentives based on at bats. The Yankees have been doing that a lot in recent years and it will protect them from paying him a ton if he devolves into a strictly platoon player which is what he looked like when they acquired him last July.