Heyman: “Nothing doing” in trade talks about Ichiro

2014 Season Preview: The Breakout Candidate
Open Thread: 3/11 Camp Notes

Via Jon Heyman: There is currently “nothing doing” on the trade market for Ichiro Suzuki and it’s likely he will start the season with the Yankees. They’ve been shopping him pretty much all winter, but haven’t gotten any bites.

Ichiro, 40, hit .262/.297/.342 (71 wRC+) last season and has been pushed into a fifth outfielder’s role. He’ll be counted on to pinch-run and play late-inning defense in right, two things he should be quite good at if he adjusts to the reducing playing time. Zoilo Almonte could do the same job and maybe even do it better though, so if the Yankees find a way to unload some of Ichiro’s contract, they should jump on it.

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2014 Season Preview: The Breakout Candidate
Open Thread: 3/11 Camp Notes
  • Eddardo Nuney

    I mentioned that Zolio should replace Ichiro in the game thread today and of course since I said it people jumped down my gullet. Ichiro is a washed up has been. Better to give that 5th OF job to one of the kids who has promise.

    • ALZ

      I don’t think it really matters much if it’s the backup job. If one of the outfielders goes down then he should get some time to prove, but if they can limit Ichiro to 150 or so meaningless ab then shouldn’t matter.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      Not if Zoilo can start every day in AAA and gain from the experience. 5th OFers hardly get any playing time.

      Also, I can’t believe I’m responding to you.

  • Nick

    heres an thought: Not re-signing Ichiro to a multi-year deal in the first place.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Do you own a time machine? That’s about the only way you’d be able to do something about that.

      • nyyankfan_7

        If you do own said time machine – could I borrow it?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Don’t i wish.

      • Nick

        he was in obvious decline, giving him a multi-year deal wasn’t the brightest thing to do from a player performance spectrum, I think many said that at the time, especially when the organization was number crunching wrt 189. I would have preferred offering him a year to year deal if anything, and if he choose to go elsewhere on a better offer, all the merrier.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I hear you.

          There’s just nothing we can do about it right now other than see how he works, and where, this season.

          • Tanakapalooza Floozy

            Well, we could just pay him to go away. That might be preferable.

  • TWTR

    Although I thought signing him to a two year deal based on a good month despite two seasons of a steep decline was incredibly stupid, keeping him as depth isn’t the worst outcome.

    • ALZ

      I didn’t think it would be this big a difference, but I really wanted Schierholtz instead. I though he would be about the same production wise, but way cheaper, and younger so hopefully less injury risk. Didn’t get the signing at all. Way overpaid based on his name compared to production of similar players.

      • TWTR

        Based on most reporting, that’s what happens when non-baseball people make baseball decisions.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I thought the second year was silly. He’s not killing anyone sitting on that bench this year, though. I’m actually glad that second year is being spent as a reserve.

        • Tanakapalooza Floozy

          Me. He’s killing me.

      • RetroRob

        The Yankees wanted Schierholtz, too, but Schierholtz selected the Cubs.

  • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

    You mean all the other teams aren’t stupid?

    • TWTR

      And that is relevant because?

  • Dirk Diggler

    Can we trade Levine for being a dummy and handing him a two year deal?

    • nyyankfan_7

      I bet from a business point of view (which Levine cares most about) Ichiro has been a decent return on investment based on jersey sales, Japanese media attention, etc.

      Again that is just me guessing because I don’t know how you could prove it.

      • Tanakapalooza Floozy

        I guess the exact opposite. Complete waste of money. So complete that I’d simply pay him to go away at this point.

  • Tom

    One thing to consider: If the Yankees trade Ichiro and use Zoilo as the 5th OF’r who is next in line if anyone goes down?

    In theory is it Johnson? and then the Yankees dip into the IF retread pool even further?

    Is he that much of an upgrade over Ichiro to cut any OF depth to the bone? If they could get something useful for Ichiro or dump salary and actually use it, then I could see it. Or if Heathcott or Flores or Austin were nearly ready if there was an injury I could see it. But I don’t really think Almonte is that much of an upgrade and the dropoff after him is potentially much steeper should someone get injured.

  • Dirk Diggler

    5th outfielder isn’t exactly a tough position to acquire…

  • Chip Rodriguez

    Can we trade Ichiro and cash considerations for Julia Morales?

    • I’m One

      That deal would probably require a lot of cash.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I must say…..never intended for Julia to become a meme, yet here we are.

  • Joe

    Is he actually a 5th outfielder ? I mean ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran soriano those are 3 outfield spots one dhs Ichiro backs up any of them if they are hurt

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    Due to the butterfly effect, I’ll say the deal while a pain in the ass, is not too regrettable. For all we know he had a hand in helping us woo Tanaka. Plus, he probably brought some extra coverage for us in Japan. Were we to not sign someone because we spent that money on Ichiro it might be a problem, but this season we got most of the guys.

    • Giancarlo Murphy

      If they purposely re-upped Ichiro for two years to be part of the pitch to Tanaka, then that is some cold calculating mierda.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I get the angst, but he’s not playing a pivotal role on the team, and I’d rather have the vet sit until needed than the youngster. It’s sort of a non-issue right now magnified by folks who are pissed off about how 2013 went down. Can’t change that now.

    • tin cup

      Front Office yuppie.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’d gladly be one if they asked.

  • LK

    Well, if someone offers something for him, even it’s just salary relief, sure go for it, but otherwise there’s really no harm in Zoilo getting regular ABs at AAA. It seems like they’re making more of an effort to trade him than they need to; I wonder if he requested to be moved if someone’s willing to play him every day.

    • Fin

      My guess is they are trying to trade him because they have no need of him on this team. They have a player in Zoilo that can do the same job with some upside, who compared to Ichiro, is basically free. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t a team in baseball looking to pay anything for an outfielder with a 70ops, let alone 6 million. What a stupid ass contract, that is not hindsight either as pretty much everyone but big Ichiro fans knew it when it happened. Last years off season decision making is still pretty shocking looking back at how completely awful it was.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    I can just hear the Phillies fans and D-Backs fans on their respective blogs:

    “Mike Adams for Ichiro? No way! His arm only exploded once!”

    “J.J. still has plenty to offer! Nothing less than Gary Sanchez!”

  • Tim Leary

    Work out a deal with Seattle. Robbie has been making noise about needing protection in that line-up. It’s the least we could do for him.

  • OB/GYN Kenobi

    boy oh boy wouldn’t it have been the bomb best if the gm of this team actually had full control, within whatever budget he was given, to shape the roster as he best saw fit?