Ichiro Suzuki's love of the Yankees may cost him an additional year and dollars when he signs with the Yankees.
According to several industry sources, Ichiro has strongly indicated to other teams that have offered him two-year contracts that he is returning to The Bronx.
"He had two-year deals for $15 million from two other clubs,'' a person familiar with the situation said.
The Phillies' offer was believed to be for two years and $13 million.
What the 39-year-old gets from the Yankees was being negotiated last night. Just because Ichiro turned down two years elsewhere didn't guarantee the Yankees automatically were going to offer the same amount of years.
It could be one year, one year with an option or, if the price is right, a two-year deal.
"He will be a Yankee,'' the person said.
If Ichiro signs for two years, he will be the first, and likely only, free agent to whom the Yankees give two years. Russell Martin, who went to Pittsburgh for two years and $17 million, never received an offer from the Yankees, who are left with the untested Francisco Cervelli and neophyte Austin Romine to fight for Martin's old job.
Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Kevin Youkilis will work on one-year deals in 2013. If the Yankees bring back Raul Ibanez, and they want to as the DH, it certainly will be on a one-year contract.
Late last season the Yankees weren't wild about a 2013 outfield that had Brett Gardner in left and Ichiro in right because those positions are traditionally for power hitters and run producers who hit in the middle of the order. Gardner and Ichiro don't hit homers, rely on speed and will hit in the top or bottom of the order.
However, since the Yankees had no interest in B.J. Upton and believe the years and dollars for Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn are too much, they started to compare Ichiro to other free agent outfielders.
Suzuki will return to Yankees
New York Post | Dec 13