The Yankees may be able to sign OF Ichiro Suzuki very soon, filling a hole in RF. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, a Major League source says that a deal will in fact happen, and that the Yankees are “all over him.” It’s no secret that Ichiro wants to remain a Yankee, so a deal would be expected soon as Christmas approaches.
Last year, Ichiro was rejuvenated in the Bronx after coming over from Seattle in a trade. He hit .322 with five homers and 27 RBIs in just 67 games, compared to .261, 4 homers and 28 driven in with Seattle in 95 games. Since Ichiro just turned 39, he will likely receive a 1-year deal, similar to Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera – the Yankees remain adamant about lowering their payroll by 2014.
New York will likely need a right-handed bat to counter the lefty Ichiro should a deal happen. Keep in mind that Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner are both lefties as well. The team has reportedly been ruled as a long shot for superstar free agent Josh Hamilton. The only way a deal could be pulled off is if the Yankees trade Granderson and his $15 million salary, and Hamilton falls into the Yankees’ lap at a low price, something that probably won’t happen. Regardless, Ichiro became a fan-favorite this past season and would be welcomed back with open arms as the future hall-of-famer closes out his career.