The Yankees are still waiting on an answer from Kevin Youkilis after making him a $12 million offer, but they have been talking with Ichiro Suzuki today as well, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Ichiro has expressed a strong desire to stay with the Yankees, and at one point even said he’d wait for them as they took care of other players first. He didn’t wait for more than a week before he lost patience and started talking with other clubs. Meanwhile, the Yankees have been interested, but wanted to take care of their pitching staff first, then had conversations with Russell Martin, and more recently have been trying desperately to find a replacement for Alex Rodriguez.
The fact that they have started up talks with Ichiro again is not surprising though. They are highly motivated to stay away from multi-year deals and if they can’t even offer players two-year contracts they will be severely limited as to whom they can sign. They did have interest in Nate Schierholtz, but he agreed to a deal with the Cubs instead. So now Ichiro is probably their next best option.
It’s possible the Yankees could still sign outfielder Cody Ross even if they land Ichiro. Ross is a lefty masher, who hit .295/.373/.636 against southpaws last year, and Ichiro has always done better against righties. That platoon opportunity seems unlikely though if the Yankees don’t offer Ross a multi-year contract as a number of other teams are interested in him.