King: Ichiro willing to wait to re-sign with Yankees

Black Friday Open Thread
Rosenthal: Yankees have interest in Jeff Keppinger

Via George King: Ichiro Suzuki is willing to wait for the Yankees to take care of business with Mariano Rivera and (potentially) Andy Pettitte before seeing if the team want to re-sign him for next season. “There has been a lot of interest (from other teams), but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees,” said Tony Attanasio, Ichiro‘s agent. “His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see.”

Ichiro, 39, hit .322/.340/.454 (114 wRC+) in 240 plate appearances with New York this year thanks in large part to a torrid three-week stretch to close out the season. The Yankees are said to have some interest in bringing Ichiro back, though it would obviously have to be on a one-year deal worth far less than the $17M he made in 2012. My guess is that Brian Cashman & Co. will seek a younger, more long-term solution in right field via trade before looking to bring Ichiro back should (when) they come up empty.

Black Friday Open Thread
Rosenthal: Yankees have interest in Jeff Keppinger
  • emac2

    “torrid three week stretch” that made the difference in the team going to the playoffs.

    It would be stupid for the Yanks to make a trade for a right fielder when Ichiro will sign a one year deal that works with the payroll situation.

    Why would they trade for an outfielder when they have 3 very good prospects a year away and a player willing to sign a one year deal after dragging the team into the playoffs?

    • Dave M

      Well, if they re-sign Ichiro for one year, they’ll have to fill 2 outfield spots after 2013 (Granderson an FA). Also, who knows what Gardner is going to do this year or next? So they might need 3 outfielders after 2013. Do you really want/expect 3 rookies to fill those spots? So if they find a long term guy via trade, to play RF now, at least we’ll have one less spot to fill.

      • emac2

        When you look at cc, tex, arod, cano and the payroll goal next year you simply have to give in several places. Outfield seems the prime spot given the players you have coming up and the ability to sign a free agent after the big squeeze if things don’t work out.

        • Ted Nelson

          You don’t really have to “give” anywhere if you get relatively cheap, cost controlled players. That’s what you can do via trade in addition to with prospects or buy-low/over-the-hill veterans.

          Saying that any of Austin, Slade, or Mason is one year away is optimistic. It’s possible, and they could always rush one even if he’s not really ready. One being ready in a year is even optimistic. They’re a bit closer than a lot of people seem to realize, but with 8 AA PAs among them…

          Prospects are for trading as well as promoting. There’s no reason not to look into trades. See what’s on offer.

          • G

            The 8 AA PAs are less important to me than Slade’s torrid AzFL. It may be a hitter’s environment, but he was putting up elite prospect type numbers. While assuming he’s a year away may be optimistic, it’s not just sheer optimism. There is a certain amount of reality to it.

            • Ted Nelson

              I didn’t say it’s sheer optimism. I said it’s possible. Even expecting one to be actually ready to produce in 2014 is a bit optimistic, though very possible. All three is pretty much sheer optimism.

              AzFL was certainly great to see, and I’m fairly optimistic about all three. AzFL is still a long way from MLB, though. It’s a dozen ~AA games worth of PAs.

              • emac2

                No one expects all 3 to play in the majors let alone start in 2014. The issue is the idea of needing to invest in something better than Ichiro for this year and I think it would be a bad use of whatever resources are available to improve the team.

                • Ted Nelson

                  You yourself literally said “they have 3 very good prospects a year away.”

                  You don’t even know who they would be getting or at what cost. How can you have an opinion on a deal if you have no idea what the parameters are?

                  • emac2

                    How can I have an opinion about getting a player when I don’t know who it is? Because I know that you get what you pay for and how to translate that theory without needing a specific player named.

                    We have 3 outfield prospects a year away from being in consideration for starting roles in the majors.

                    I’m not counting on any of them but would rather fill 2014 holes in the outfield lineup if they occur instead of in a panic 2 years early.

                    • Ted Nelson


                      “No one expects all 3 to play in the majors let alone start in 2014.”

                      “We have 3 outfield prospects a year away from being in consideration for starting roles in the majors.”

                      Is this the same person?

                      “would rather fill 2014 holes in the outfield lineup if they occur instead of in a panic 2 years early.”

                      Either you are dumb as a rock or not even trying to understand my argument. I said nothing at all about panicking. Stop building strawman arguments (look that one up, too). I never even said not to sign your favorite player Ichiro. I said to consider your options. That includes Ichiro, but also trade candidates and other FAs (who may or may not even be signed through 2014).

                      Ichiro is just not good anymore. He’s quite bad, actually. He’s 16 % below league average offensively the past two seasons at one of the easiest positions to fill offensively. I don’t mind giving him another shot as a back-up plan, but it’s not a clear winning solution.

          • emac2

            Give means not having a long term answer at a position several years in advance.

            Getting relatively cheap cost controlled players means giving a lot. I’m happy to do that but I think 3rd base is a better position to target.

            Relatively cheap young players that play really well right away?

            I am totally up for looking at trades but feel pretty strongly that the outfield is well covered now and in the future and we should be looking at other areas to bring in the cheap young players from outside the organization. Ichiro helps bridge the gap in a way that few if any others can and doesn’t cost us any players, prospects or 2014 payroll.

            • Ted Nelson

              “Give means not having a long term answer at a position several years in advance.”

              I don’t understand what you’re saying.

              If my translation is correct, my response would be: prospects are not necessarily answers at a position several years from now, either.

              “Getting relatively cheap cost controlled players means giving a lot.”

              Not necessarily. Swisher cost very little. That was an outlier in how little he cost and how much he produced, but going after a “buy-low” candidate like maybe Francoeur (signed for only one year at $6.75 million or something) or Morrison would not necessarily cost much. Trading for a RF doesn’t necessarily mean trading for Stanton.

              “I’m happy to do that but I think 3rd base is a better position to target.”

              I wouldn’t be against trading for someone depending on the deal, but like it or not they have a solid starting 3B locked up for a while. It’s hard to say that getting a full-time starter is a waste of resources, but let’s use resources to put a starter on the bench instead. If the 3B can play SS and/or OF, he has some more value. If he hits well enough to be a DH solution, could work. 3B is a much scarcer position than corner-OF as well.

              I think Ichiro is one possible solution. There are other veterans they can sign on one year deals, though. There are other guys they can trade for. I wouldn’t overpay just to bring back Ichiro.

              • emac2

                A solid starting third basemen locked up for awhile?

                Are you penciling Arod into the lineup at 3rd for several years or just making an argument?

                • Ted Nelson

                  Are you expecting A-Rod to go anywhere? Yes, he is above average for a starting 3B. Yes, he is signed for several years. Why is that hard to understand?

    • Jersey Joe

      I think what he means is that we need a 4th outfielder capable of stepping in right field at a low price. Preferably a righty bat with 3 lefty outfielders.

      Chris Heisey comes to mind, possibly Drew Stubbs as a buy-low candidate, maybe Julio Borbon (not righty but still can bounce back to ’10 form). Throw some more righty OFs at me.

      • emac2

        I agree we would need some cheap insurance for Ichiro and right handed would make sense but I’m not sure that was the meaning.

      • Mr. Sparkle

        No way anyone should want Drew Stubbs on this team. Especially in the same outfield with Granderson unless you look forward to two guys combining for close to 400 strikeouts. This team needs contact hitters…not strikeout machines.

        • Ted Nelson

          No one wants Drew Stubbs in RF (not a good enough hitter), but the whole “contact hitter” thing needs to stop.

    • dalelama

      What three good prospects a year away? Please pass the magic mushrooms.

  • uyf1950

    A 1 year deal for something around $8MM or so would be great. An excellent late season pick up by Cashman in 2012 can only help the Yankees when he returns for a full season.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m ok with signing him, but he can definitely hurt the Yankees if he returns. The Ms are a much, much worse offensive team, and he hurt them for a couple of years. $8 million is the absolute highest I would want to see them go for Ichiro, and only if they struck out elsewhere.

      • emac2

        How can he hurt the Yankees returning on a one year contract?

        Because he didn’t make the Mariners a good offensive team and couldn’t withstand the park and being the center of the teams offense?

        Complete nonsense

        • Preston

          Ichiro wasn’t any good for a long time, three weeks haven’t turned back the clock three years. He could be a black hole in the lineup. No walks, no power, empty BA. At any price he would hurt the team by coming to bat.

          • emac2

            He doesn’t hgurt the team on a one year deal because he costs nothing but cash and can be replaced more effectivly via trade during the season if he doesn’t produce than he can now.

            He can’t hurt if he doesn’t prevent any moves and doesn’t cost anything you are short of.

            as for choosing which stats you want to use and ignoring the most relevant ones because you think the sheer size of your data set negates the need to make adjustments for reality? well, some people understand stats and some people have to use “saying” developed for people who like to use things they don’t understand.

            • Ted Nelson

              “He can’t hurt if he doesn’t prevent any moves and doesn’t cost anything you are short of.”

              Are you serious? Signing him and putting him on your roster directly prevents another move… you cannot put someone else on your roster if you have Ichiro on it.

              “well, some people understand stats and some people have to use “saying” developed for people who like to use things they don’t understand.”

              If you don’t understand why sample size is important, you cannot possibly have taken even an introductory lecture (let alone course) on statistics.

              No one can say what Ichiro will do next season. No one can say that he WILL hurt the team in a definitive way. If he stinks, though, then yes… he will hurt the team.

              • emac2

                I see, so your argument is that Ichiro would hurt the team by replacing the 25th guy.

                sometimes people just disagree too much to continue discussion and you just have to watch things play out.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Your argument is that paying Ichiro maybe $8 million next year cannot hurt the team…

                  Yes, having a productive 4th or 5th OF has value, especially if you have no clear starter in RF. Yes, having $8 million to spend elsewhere has value. Again… look up “opportunity cost.”

                  Stop assuming you are right. Learn something. You are so far off base it’s not even funny. You don’t know why sample size is important or what opportunity cost is, yet you’re being a know it all.

        • Ted Nelson

          No, not because he didn’t make them a good offensive team. Because he made the terrible Mariners offense even worse.

          Having a guy who can’t hit at all in RF for a season hurts a team. Do you disagree? If not, him coming here and taking up a roster spot plus $ to stink hurts the team relative to the next best alternative in RF. That’s what they call “opportunity cost.”

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Or he could revert to the bad, old player he was for hundreds of PAs over 1.5 seasons immediately prior to coming to the Yanks. I’m not predicting this per se but to say he can “only help” is incorrectly overconfident IMHO.

    • G

      How does that even make sense… He already helped us, are you trying to say it’s all been worthless?

  • MM42

    Is KC’s Wil Myers a possibility? They are looking for starting pitching, if Pettitte is coming back could Nova plus a prospect (a low A type) get it done?

    • Jersey Joe

      No way Royals stay on the phone for a few nanoseconds.

    • William

      No way. Forget it,the Yankees don’t have the pitching to make that trade.

    • Drew

      That’s not even in the universe to get that deal done. The Royals GM would hang up and then immediately pee his pants.

    • Dave M

      The Yanks would have a better chance at Alex Gordon than one of those young guys. And I don’t really think they have the pitching that KC is looking for to make the happen.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, Gordon or especially Francoeur are more realistic targets as they look to make room for Myers.

    • Preston

      The rumored trade involving Myers would be for Matt Moore +, very few people have a young established pitcher that good, and only the Rays have the pitching depth to be willing to trade him.

  • MrPappageorgio

    Nova’s trade value is at an all time low after this year’s 2nd half. He isnt bringing back much in a trade

    • Preston

      And in 2014 his value to us will be at an all time high, so lets hang on to him.

  • dfghj

    It is really too bad that Ichiro in his prime didn’t get a taste of the Yankees.
    He would have looked good in 2005.

  • Mike

    Why is it impossible for the Yankees to handle more than one signing at a time?

    • Mike Axisa

      Ichiro’s not exactly a guy you bend over backwards to sign. Who cares if he has to wait?

      • The Moral Majority is Neither

        Not Ichiro. Didn’t you RTFA?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think it’s related to your lack of long-term memory.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s a stall tactic. They don’t want to sign Ichiro until they’ve gone through their more attractive RF options and see what his market value is, if they want to sign him at all. Even if they don’t want to sign him ever, they’re not going to come out and say as much: it’s always good to have to option to come back to him, and it gives them leverage in any other negotiations for a RF.

      A lot of fans don’t seem to realize how early we are in the off-season. Washed-up veterans generally have to wait until later in the off-season when teams have explored other options.

    • whiskey quibbler

      if/then, conditional programming.

  • mrdbag

    Boring I doubt they do anything substantive

    • emac2

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see little or nothing happen but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the team make some drastic changes.

      I think an argument could be made for a complete rebuild this year for several reasons.

  • The Real Eddard

    Sign me up! Ichiro and Raul weren’t just our best hitters in the postseason, they were our only hitters in the postseason and they need to be re-signed. With austerity measures looming in 2014 it only makes sense to re-sign these veterans to 1 year deals. Back them up with Dickerson and other cheap minor leaguers. That’s the reality. You can’t have all star backups anymore. You either get cheap veterans willing to sign for 1 year deals or minor leaguers. Might as well go with the veterans.

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    Grabbing Logan Morrison via Nolasco’s contract would be the way to go. Lefty power, minimal platoon split, young enough to be a nice piece down the road.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

    Meh, I’d rather them trade for a young RHH OF’er with some pop *cough*JustinUpton*cough* or even sign BJ Upton…but we don’t have the pieces to trade for Justin, and if you guys hate Grandy’s Homer to Strikeout ratio, you’d hate BJ just for his (never mind he actually plays defense well, and runs the bases very well)

    • Reggie C.

      BJ Upton will get the years bc he’s on the right side of 30 but what kind of AAS is he likely to get? I honestly see Upton as an immediate defensive upgrade over Swisher, play an able CF, and hit for power traditionally sought after in a corner OF.

      • emac2

        yeah, let’s do this so we can lose Cano for Upton as the team struggles to meet the payroll limit the following year.

        Right handed hitters at any cost!

      • Gonzo

        I know this isn’t in Cash’s MO, but the Yankees could make BJ more sensible if they traded him after the first year of his contract like the Marlins. They could even put a little extra in the first year to make sure his contract is attractive to someone after the first year of it. It doesn’t solve anything for 2014, but they might even get something useful in return. Haha. Imagine the Yankees pulling a Marlins. Would never happen. Just having fun.

      • Ted Nelson

        He doesn’t hit at all like what you traditionally seek in a corner OF.

        He’s a CF. He should get over $15 million per for a long while.

    • Ted Nelson

      BJ Upton is not a RF. He hasn’t hit like a RF since his rookie year in 2007. I wouldn’t care less if he struck out a ton if he produced. He doesn’t, though. If the Yankees needed a CF, sure he’d be on the radar. They don’t.

  • Travis L.

    You dont think they would do a platoon of Suzuki/Hairston in RF on one year deals, do you?

    • G

      Why not? It’s cheap, if nothing better is clearly available at a low price I’d be up for it. Maybe them, Mo, Pettitte, and Keppinger to round out the offseason.

  • Rich in NJ

    I wouldn’t want to see Ichiro be relied on to contribute as he did when he was hot, but as OF depth, he would be a good addition.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Pretty much how I see it (we agree!), and the fact that he seems to be willing to wait on the team might actually mean that he’s willing to at least entertain the thought? That’d be something.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

    They don’t have much to trade to bring back a young RFer unless they’re gonna gut the farm system. I see Ichiro in their future with Gardner in CF and Granderson in LF. They might as well load up for one more run before the floor falls out in 2014.

    • Ted Nelson

      They have a ton to trade. They have three top 30 prospects, Slade is ranked as high as them by some, they have a decent number of solid guys almost MLB ready (Adams, Romine, CoJo, Warren, Betances, Montgomery, Whitley, Marshall, Turley), and a lot of unproven talent lower in the system.

      • Ted Nelson

        There are also many levels of RFs who are younger than Ichiro. You can go for more of a Francoeur as well as a stud like Stanton, Upton, or Gordon.

        • emac2

          So why don’t you give us an example of one of these trades for an outfielder with super valuable age stats?

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

            He won’t.

            Don’t you know he’s the resident contrarian of RAB.

            • Ted Nelson

              LOL… How dumb are you?

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t know what “super valuable age stats” are. I can assure you that’s not what I’m looking for, since I don’t even know what it is.

            Are you looking for a recent historical example like Bautista, Swisher, Francoeur to NYM and Texas, Reddick, Zobrist, David Murphy, Willingham, Ludwick, Gomes…?
            Prospective trade target are tougher not knowing who is available for what price, but there are more obvious candidates like Francoeur and Morrison out there.

            Corner OFs are the least scarce players in MLB, along with 1B. Finding them is relatively easy. That’s not to say that they grow on trees, but it’s easier than finding guys up the middle or at 3B.

            • emac2

              clueless. you because you are. Me for wasting my time.

              • Ted Nelson

                So, that’s you admitting that you lose?

                No rebuttal for the 9 decently productive corner-OFs I listed traded for very little off the top of my head?

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          Yeah Jeff Francoeur is just what the Yankees need in RF. A soon t be 33 year old who had an 81 OPS+ and -2.7 WAR.

          That would be a fine replacement for Swisher to play a corner outfield position none e less.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s one example of the type of guy the Yankees might have a good scouting report on and feel is a good candidate to bounce back.

            Get a life. Instead of stalking me, try making some semi-intelligent comments sometimes.

            • emac2

              what an idiot.

              He’s not very good, but the Yankees scouting report might be different and so we should not sign Ichiro because he played bad for the M’s but should pay Francour 6 mil

              Drugs Suck!

              • Ted Nelson

                You think Ichiro is still a stud and I’m an idiot… interesting.

                If Ichiro is so great and Francoeur is so bad, let me know why Ichiro’s wOBA is .290 the past two seasons and Frenchy’s is .317. I never once advocated getting Francoeur, by the way. I said he is one of many examples of a RF with some upside who might be available on the cheap. One of many.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    What’s going to be fascinating to watch (for me) about Ichiro is the price. Obviously he makes less in 2013 than he did in 2012. But how much less? And, how much less than less would he take to play for the Yanks or another contender?

    Parsed another way, half of what he made last year is still real money and a severe overpay if he reverts to who he was for 1.5 years immediately prior to him coming over. Those 1.5 years are like a $1-2mm guy max. But his overall Yanks line is worth much more than that if he can do it again. So how confident is Cash in what we saw? Who is the real Ichiro at this point? Sort of like Jeter’s long winter, which was thankfully followed by an amazing rebound.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, that will be interesting. Especially because while he might wait a while, there are other teams who might make an offer. I think $5 million would be a bit high, but some team with no offense might buy the sustainability of his bounceback on a contender.

    • emac2

      I would be surprised if he made more than 5-8 mil.

  • Robert

    Where is he gonna go? Wait him out and sign him for 3million in FEB,

  • smurfy

    Well, I say, thank you very much, sir, may you do another memorable spider dance at home.