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Monday, March 24, 2014

Heyman: Yankees said willing to pay part of Ichiro’s salary if trade makes sense

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.

...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

Thanks to JJ.

Repoz Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:11 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. McCoy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:51 AM (#4676002)
So, Ichiro is available?
   2. Bug Selig Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:57 AM (#4676004)
The most tireless meme of all time is finally true!

"He could be a fine 4th outfielder - if he wanted to."

Two problems with that. First, he doesn't want to. Second, the group of Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, and Soriano contains 4 people. He's a 5th outfielder. Every team would love to get a good prospect for their 5th outfielder. But not every team is dumb enough to have a 5th OF on the books for $6.5m.
   3. John Northey Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:10 AM (#4676009)
He is a fine guy to have as #4 - speed, defense and hits over 250 for average (so not an obvious sink hole on offense). Even in his worst seasons he has been a positive in fWAR and while his 2011 was a big negative on defense that was his first negative since 2005.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4676011)
I enjoy that Beltran is a "younger star". Which compared to Ichiro, I guess, but *still*.
   5. shoewizard Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:26 AM (#4676013)
No need to guess....actually younger, actually better and more productive.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4676014)
Second, the group of Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, and Soriano contains 4 people. He's a 5th outfielder. Every team would love to get a good prospect for their 5th outfielder. But not every team is dumb enough to have a 5th OF on the books for $6.5m.

But, they are also filling most of the DH spot. So, it's still 4 guys for 4 positions. Ichiro is effectively the 4th OF.
   7. akrasian Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4676027)

But, they are also filling most of the DH spot. So, it's still 4 guys for 4 positions. Ichiro is effectively the 4th OF.


Isn't Jeter expected to DH part time?

He is a fine guy to have as #4 - speed, defense and hits over 250 for average (so not an obvious sink hole on offense).

Will he still hit over .250? He managed to last season, but has looked sort of toasty this spring. And an age related decline would be expected anyway. Not just on his hitting, but his defense also.

I'm just not sure why any rational team would want to give up a "good prospect" for Ichiro at this stage, even if the Yankees picked up all of his contract.

   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4676034)
Isn't Jeter expected to DH part time?

His bat may not be able to carry SS. If he's healthy, they run him out a SS 130 times. He's going to need the full days of rest at his age.
   9. BDC Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4676041)
I always check a loose guy against the Rangers to see how much value he brings. At the moment Texas is still awash in LHB outfielders, even though the rest of the club are dropping like flies. Not only would Ichiro certainly not start for them, but there's every chance that a minimally-paid AAAA guy like Jim Adduci will have a better season in 2014. And that's sad in many ways, it's the end of an era.
   10. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4676068)
I think the Yanks should see if Ichiro is willing to and can field infield positions and make him a super utility guy. I'd bet a lot that he'd be above average at every position around the diamond.

I'm only half kidding.
   11. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4676069)
The Yankees are willing to pay part of his salary and only need a good prospect back? Where do I sign up?
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4676070)
If I was the Jays, I'd trade for him.

1) I'd insist that as part of the deal, Ichiro has to give his famou pre-All-Star game speech before every regular season game.
2) Munenori Kawasaki and Ichiro have to do a basic cable show where we follow them around Toronto and watch them visit the tourist attractions. "Muni and Ichiro visit the CNN Tower!", "Muni and Ichiro visit Casa Loma!" "Muni and Ichiro visit the Hockey Hall of Fame!" (Ichiro : "I could have played goalie if I wanted to.")
   13. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4676077)
I think the Yanks should see if Ichiro is willing to and can field infield positions and make him a super utility guy.
He has said that he wants to pitch.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4676078)
a 5th OF on the books for $6.5m

Ashtray money for Ca$hman.
   15. DL from MN Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4676094)
The Twins could use him. That would be fun.
   16. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4676119)
He has said that he wants to pitch.

I would be unreasonably pleased if this happened.
Been hoping for years that he would turn into a Jesse Orosco / LOOGY type for the third phase of his career, and pitch until he's 52.
   17. SG Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4676123)
Not to say Ichiro couldn't pitch lefty if he wanted to, but he throws with his right arm.
   18. Kurt Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4676130)
Ownership gave Ichiro a two-year deal two winters ago likely in part because of his popularity and maketability


If he can maket there, he's gonna maket anywhere.
   19. zonk Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4676131)
I guess it's a lot less money, but Alfonso Soriano has out-WARed Suzuki each of the last 3 years and out-oWARed him the last 5.

I'll grant that Soriano is basically a DH/LF and Suzuki can at least (probably?) play all 3 OF spots competently (plus run a bit)... but Soriano can still mash lefties and Suzuki cannot mash anyone at this point.

   20. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4676133)
Not to say Ichiro couldn't pitch lefty if he wanted to, but he throws with his right arm.

Dang. I always forget that.
Fine then, I hope he learns the knuckleball*, turns into a Hoyt Wilhelm / KnOOGY type for the third phase of his career, and pitches until he's 52.


* which I'm sure he could do... you know.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4676136)
   22. PepTech Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4676171)
Ichiro! did pick up the knuckler from Dickey while he was in Seattle. And pitching lefty, from Moyer.

As far as anyone knows, anyway...
   23. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4676212)
I'm just not sure why any rational team would want to give up a "good prospect" for Ichiro at this stage, even if the Yankees picked up all of his contract.


They probably wouldn't. Cashman says that they're fine with him as their fourth OF, but if someone wants to part with a good prospect for him, they're open to that, and are willing to pick up part of his salary. They're not looking to dump him, or at least that's what Cashman is saying (I mean, why would he say otherwise?).
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4676216)
Second, the group of Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, and Soriano contains 4 people. He's a 5th outfielder.


Well, I remember hearing that one of those other outfielders is available as well.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4676232)
They probably wouldn't. Cashman says that they're fine with him as their fourth OF, but if someone wants to part with a good prospect for him, they're open to that, and are willing to pick up part of his salary. They're not looking to dump him, or at least that's what Cashman is saying (I mean, why would he say otherwise?).

Yeah, that's Cashman's opening bid. If a team really has interest, he'd likely move to getting a mediocre prospect, and picking up a bunch of the salary.
   26. DL from MN Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4676237)
Would the Yankees do Ichiro for Alex Presley and Brian Duensing?
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4676251)
Would the Yankees do Ichiro for Alex Presley and Brian Duensing?

I guess it depends how much salary Minn. wants them to eat. Seems like plenty of talent.
   28. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4676351)
Ichiro played 3rd in japan. Just saying...

They should find a team that can use him as a starter and let him finish by taking Rose's record, that would be awesome.
   29. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4676355)
Ichiro played 3rd in japan. Just saying...


One game in 1999; that's it...
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4676382)
Have they tinkered with WAR again, applied updated PFs or something? I'd swear Ichiro graded out as average last year by WAR, now b-r shows him at 1.4 WAR. Or is my memory off?

Anyway, it still shows him making up for the lousy bat through running and defense, fine for a 4th OF. With this team he's still on track for 400ish PA if healthy, he's not gonna get substantially more playing time anywhere else.

And Carlos Beltran no longer has an age. Perhaps I've caught Sean in the middle of a database update.
   31. DL from MN Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4676402)
He's not gonna get substantially more playing time anywhere else


He could leadoff for the Twins.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4676411)
Have they tinkered with WAR again, applied updated PFs or something? I'd swear Ichiro graded out as average last year by WAR, now b-r shows him at 1.4 WAR. Or is my memory off?


I don't know....I was thinking something similar because I used to compare McCann's 2006 to Mauer's 2006 and the War used to be significantly different(Something like 6.6 for Mauer and 5.2 for McCann) and now they are basically the same(which is what I was saying they should have been)

And Carlos Beltran no longer has an age. Perhaps I've caught Sean in the middle of a database update.


It's possible, earlier I wasn't able to bring up attendance for teams outside of the two most recent seasons.
   33. Swedish Chef Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4676415)
He's not gonna get substantially more playing time anywhere else

He'd start for the Marlins.


And he would get to play in the outfield between his starts.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4676480)
Ichiro is effectively the 4th OF.

Maybe more like 4.5, if not closer to 5th. The Yankees have used Soriano in RF this spring, and seem to think he was OK. Maybe that was just being prepared in case there are 57,000 injuries again this year, but I think it means the Yankees will mostly use Soriano to spell Beltran or Gardner, cutting into Ichiro's possible playing time. Things could change, but Ichiro might be getting most of his playing time as a late-inning defensive replacement & pinch runner, rather than an occasional starter.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4676493)
Maybe more like 4.5, if not closer to 5th. The Yankees have used Soriano in RF this spring, and seem to think he was OK. Maybe that was just being prepared in case there are 57,000 injuries again this year, but I think it means the Yankees will mostly use Soriano to spell Beltran or Gardner, cutting into Ichiro's possible playing time. Things could change, but Ichiro might be getting most of his playing time as a late-inning defensive replacement & pinch runner, rather than an occasional starter.

But none starting 4 are good bets for 150+ games. They're all either old or injury prone.

Even with no major injuries, it's hard to project Gardner and Ellsbury or Beltran for more than 140 starts each, and that includes some DH-ing for each. Even if Soriano plays 150 games between OF and DH, that's still 65 starts that will go mostly to Ichiro
   36. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4676597)
What #35 said. You've got those 5 guys but 3 OF slots, 1 DH slot. That's nearly 3000 PA. Obviously some of the DH time will also go to Jeter and a bit to McCann so maybe it's 2800 PA. Gardner's career high PA is 609; Ellsbury could get 750 or less than 100 but had 636 last year. Beltran got 600; Soriano a bit more. Call it 2400-2500 PA among those 4 even assuming no major injuries ... that still leaves 300-400 PA for Ichiro.

I looked at this (crudely) a few years ago and the typical team uses nearly 2 full-time slots on "bench" players -- i.e. about 1200 PA.* Granted, if the Yanks are willing to give Jeter 100+ starts at DH then all the above math starts to go out the window ... likely along with their playoff hopes. But I assume Soriano will get most of the DH at-bats. It is true that Ichiro hitting L while Gardner and Ellsbury also hit L is not ideal -- resting one of those guys against LHP probably puts Soriano in LF and Jeter/McCann at DH. Ichiro and money for somebody's RHB 4th/5th OF would make sense. Where's Reed Johnson these days? Has AZ decided Cody Ross is a waste of money yet?

*One of the Yanks advantages over the years has been the durability of their star players. They've had horrible benches but not much call for them.
   37. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4676612)
He has said that he wants to pitch.


Pitchiro!

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