According to George A. King III of the New York Post, former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will wait to see if the Yankees want him back before exploring his other options this off-season. The 39 year old Ichiro was traded to the Yankees from the Mariners last July after eleven and a half years with Seattle. King claims that the Japanese star enjoyed his role in the Yankees race to the AL East Division title enough to hold off on entertaining other offers until he hears from New York.
Ichiro responded well to the trade, hitting .322/.340/.454 in 240 plate appearances with the Yankees, rebounding from a dismal .261/.288/.353 batting line with Seattle. Despite his success there last season, it is unclear if the Yankees will actually need his services in 2013, however. He was acquired in large part to fill the gap caused by Brett Gardner’s season ending elbow injury.
The 29 year old Gardner gives the Yankees much of what they would get from Ichiro, including speed and elite left field defense. While he does not have the same contact abilities as two time batting champ Ichiro, he excels at getting on base thanks to an excellent walk rate.
If the Yankees do not resign Ichiro, he could be an option for a number of teams, including the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, who have a history of favoring veteran free agents.