Heyman: Yankees willing to eat money to trade Ichiro

2014 Season Preview: Jeter's Final Season
Open Thread: 3/24 Camp Notes

Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees are willing to eat some money in an Ichiro Suzuki trade in order to receive a decent prospect in return. He is owed $6.5M this season and is slated to be an extra outfielder who specializes in pinch-running and playing late-inning defense.

The Yankees have been shopping Ichiro for months and it wasn’t all that long ago we heard there was “nothing doing” regarding trade interest. They’ve been playing him in center field recently, presumably in an effort to boost his trade value. I dunno, I just can’t see a team getting involved without a sudden rash of outfield injuries, especially not if the Yankees are asking for an actual prospect.

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2014 Season Preview: Jeter's Final Season
Open Thread: 3/24 Camp Notes
  • The Great Gonzo

    I can’t see any obvious takers right now. Does any team need a ‘wily veteran’ CF with Presents?

    Honestly, I expected an outfielder to have gotten hurt by now, but nope. Year of the Broken Pitcher.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Clarification:

      A ‘non-Yankee’ outfielder to have gotten hurt, to make a market for Ichiro. The closest we’ve had is an oblique from Bourne, right?

      • dkidd

        and how is grady sizemore still in one piece?

        • JGYank

          Harper should crash into a wall soon…

        • RetroRob

          You know, it’s been a long time since the Yankees and Red Sox have made a trade. I think the Yankees should gift Ichiro and a few million dollars to the Red Sox this year for a lower-level, B-grade prospect. Then run like hell. Yeah, that’s it.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Mookie Betts for Ichiro sounds about right!

            (Seriously, don’t look at his Fangraphs page unless you want a vicious envy-boner).

  • bobtaco

    Trade him to Seattle and get Montero back.

    I don’t see how he could fetch a better prospect in return (and Ichiro probably has more value for Seattle than any other team).

    • TWTR

      I’m down with that.

      • Dale Mohorcic

        Doesn’t Montero kind of count as 2 prospects now? . . . .

        • TWTR

          The one that can likely still hit LHP, and maybe even mash it, especially in YS, and the one who doesn’t have a position? ;)

          Anyway, well-played.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Only by the Shipping Dept….

          Get it? Because fat?

  • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

    They ate the money when they inked the two year deal. Is this a new development? Did we previously believe that when they were shopping him they weren’t willing to pay any of the salary? I guess knowing this answer could help us understand if there is now more hope of trading him than there was previously.

    • TWTR

      Maybe it’s being done to prepare the ground for an ultimate DFA.

      • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

        Well, in such a situation, you try to trade the guy first, ask for a lot and see if you can get it, ask for less and see if you can get it, or just cut bait when all else fails. So, perhaps.

    • OB/GYN. Kenobi

      Exactly. Is this new(s)?

      Regardless, nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  • Roy Munson

    At this point hang on to him. The bench is weak as it is and he could potentially be more valuable to the yanks and/or the trade market should he preform well off the bench.

    • Mr. Roth

      This. Considering what we’d probably get back for the guy, there’s really no big reason to trade him. There will definitely be value in having him off the bench for defense, baserunning, and maybe as a pinch hitter in certain situations.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi

        How about shaving a few million $ which may be able to be (more) productively spent elsewhere?

  • Eddardo Nuney

    They won’t just have to eat money to get rid of Ichiro, they’ll have to throw in some additional money as well. Nobody wants the guy and the Yankee FO gave him 2 years. Zolio should be in the MLB. Ichiro should be retired drinking pina coladas with Mariano in Panama.

    • pinch hitter

      So on top of his salary, your plan is to pay additional money to instead of just releasing him? And you’re complaining about the Yankee FO?

      • Eddardo Nuney

        No, I’m saying this is the position they’ve put themselves in. Nobody wants him even if the Yankees eat the contract. Hell, I dont know if they’d even take him if the Yankees offered another $1 million on top of that. Just a horrific signing by the FO.

        • OB/GYN. Kenobi

          I would take him if they threw in $1 million more than he is owed.

        • Deathstroke Heathcott

          Why the hell wouldn’t someone take him if the Yankees were offering his salary and an extra million on top of it?

        • Dropped Third

          Yes, a defensively sound and solid base running 4th out fielder with a huge fan base in Japan and veteran experience won’t make any team’s roster for free let alone with an extra million. Brilliant.

  • willie w

    another one of cashmans really bad signings

    • TWTR

      You can fault Cashman for being unable to develop talent (I do), but according to all reports, this was the Amazing Randy’s decision.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Wouldn’t you get so much more out of the experience if you posted on the topic at hand instead of trying to place yourself as smarter than the GM?

      • willie w

        I thought the topic at head was trying to dump a really bad signing

        is there something I am missing ?

  • RetroRob

    They want a decent prospect?

    I figured they story would be they’d eat a decent part of his contract just to free up the roster spot! Not that they’d eat some money to get back a decent prospect.

    I’m sure there is a team out there that would want Ichiro. I think the Yankees will just need to eat more money than they are indicating, and accept less back than what Heyman is suggesting. That may be the case. No reason to say it up front.

    Yet from the Yankees side, they need to figure out if that will actually help them.

  • Folley of the pre-determined outcome

    I would really hate to see Ichiro rot on the bench. I would like it if he went somewhere where he could play and add to his HOF career stats.

    • Wheels

      258 hits away from 3,000. Would be cool if he could reach that milestone somehow.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi

        That’s two full time seasons for him at this point, or 3-4 part time. I don’t see it, unless he literally pays Miami for a roster spot.

  • LK

    Do the Yankees seriously not realize that Ichiro wouldn’t be worth a prospect even if he were free? His upside is declining 4th OF. Never hurts to ask, but they’ve been trying to trade the guy for months now. Either keep on the roster as the 5th OF or release him and get it over with. You’re not getting that money back.

    • Preston

      I don’t think they’re even asking for a prospect. I think they want to open up a spot on the forty man and save a little money.

  • Fin

    Is it possible with the outfield depth the Yankees have, that if a player is acquired, for whatever reason, that it would be Ichiro who is released rather than someone like Flores? I think as fans we would like to see that happen, but would the Yankees actually do that and eat the money? I know all the Ichiro fans are over the moon about his late inning defensive replacement value and some pinch running. Outside of injury, I don’t see him getting much time in the outfield because I don’t see them sitting or replacing Beltran or Soriano very often. If there is an injury I think its pretty clear that Zolio is the better option if they need a guy to play a lot of innings. Right now, there is no reason to release him, but if they need a roster spot, I would think the Yankees seriously consider it.

  • Robert

    When we trade our catching depth he gets thrown in for free.

  • adjusts batting gloves

    Corey Black might be available from the Cubs…

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    They must be desperate if they’re willing to perform a Kabak-like eating of actual money in order to get rid of him.

  • Tom

    As someone mentioned earlier, I get floating it out there in case someone is desperate and offers a legit prospect in return, but I don’t see the point otherwise (even if another team ate some of the money)

    If they deal him, I assume Almonte makes the team? This is fine and might even be a slight upgrade, but that role isn’t going to play much unless someone gets hurt – and if that happened than you could just callup Almonte and leave Ichiro in the 5th OF role.

    If they deal Ichiro who’s the Yankees depth if someone gets hurt? Flores? Heathcott? waiver wire OF du jour? If one of the prospects was pretty close to being ready I would understand, but most of the options still seem at least a half year if not a full year away.

    • Fin

      Depth is nice, but that’s all anyone talks about. If it comes down to so many people getting hurt that having Ichiro around is necessary, its probably a lost season anyway. IF the season isn’t lost, they would trade for someone before letting Ichiro play everyday anyway. Not to mention at this point how big of a drop off would a guy like Heathcott be as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Ichiro seems to be virtually worthless expect as a defensive replacement/ pinch runner, and really how valuable is that, and how many guys do the Yankees have that can fill that role? Like I said, there is no reason to release him now, but if they need a roster spot, is it better to release him or let a Flores go? I suppose it depends on what the Yankees feel the future is of the player that would be released instead of Ichiro.

      • Jorge Steinbrennee

        We’re one outfield injury away from having Ichiro get more playing time. That’s not a lost season.

        He’s a declined vet. He’s not a leper, folks.

  • Mike

    I agree with management. Don’t trade Ichiro unless we get a top 10 prospects back.