Via Jon Heyman –
The Yankees are said willing to offset a part of Ichiro Suzuki’s $6.5-million salary in the right deal, sources said.
The Yankees would seek to receive a good prospect back but are said by rival executives amendable to paying down a portion of his $6.5 million salary under those circumstances.
Ichiro, 40, only fits as a backup outfielder with the Yankees, as their starting outfield is stacked with younger stars Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner. The Yankees also have Alfonso Soriano, who’s looked very good this spring — “better than before,” one scout said — so Ichiro, the international icon, will be an unusually limited role.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined comment about any possible trades talks, though there is no evidence anything’s hot at the moment. That could change depending on team needs. the Tigers are one team that suffered a loss in the outfield when the lefty-hitting Andy Dirks was lost for a few months after having back surgery.
Cashman, however, said he had “no concern” about Ichiro taking to a role as a fourth outfielder after being such a worldwide star throughout his illustrious career. Cashman actually said Ichiro would make a fine fourth outfielder.
“He’s a great defender and he can steal a base,” Cashman said. “He provides us with options.”
Ichiro hit .262 with seven home runs and a .639 OPS last year, and he’s hitting .225 so far this spring.
Ownership gave Ichiro a two-year deal two winters ago likely in part because of his popularity and maketability.
How come whenever the Yankees have a bad deal on their hand, it’s “ownership” that did it (and not credited to Brian Cashman)? It’s black magic…I suppose?
In any event, this one is just the appetizer. Mark your calendars. The Yankees will be eating some of Beltran’s, Sabathia’s and Teixeira’s money in 2016, some of McCann’s money in 2017. And, don’t forget that they will be eating a ton of A-Rod’s money some time in the very near future. (And, most likely, they will be eating some money on Ellsbury in 2018 or sooner.)
They Yankees will be leading the league in eating money. The only question when it happens will be: Will it be pinned to ownership or Cashman?