Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki closing in on deal

Jonathan Daniel

New York is expected to re-sign the veteran outfielder within the next few days.

The New York Yankees are nearing a contract agreement with free-agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and are expected to re-sign the veteran "within the next few days," reports Buster Olney of ESPN:

The Yankees have been pretty set on the idea of one-year deals this offseason, and there is no reason to think they will act any differently with Ichiro.

The future Hall of Famer came to the end of a five-year, $90 million contract at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Though he earned $17 million this past season, he should take a pretty big pay cut this year as a result of declining performance and age.

The 39-year-old had a rough first half in Seattle -- hitting just .261/.288/.353 in 95 games -- but picked things up after moving to New York in July, hitting .322/.340/.454 with five home runs in 67 games.

When the Yankees do officially sign Ichiro, their outfield will be completely manned by left-handed hitters, with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson also setting up on "wrong" side of the plate. Once Ichiro is signed, New York will likely step up its search for a right-handed outfield bat to complement the three lefty hitters.

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