UPDATE: Ichiro's deal with the Yankees will be for two years and $13 million, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The club has been incredibly reluctant to sign any free agents beyond the 2013 season, but perhaps the veteran would not accept a one-year offer. There is also the outside chance that Ichiro could reach the 3,000 hits milestone late in the 2014 season if he sees regular playing time.
ORIGINAL: The New York Yankees will re-sign outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, reports Craig Carton of Sports Radio 66 WFAN:
ichiro is ayankee for 2013— Craig Carton (@cc660) December 12, 2012
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds that while a deal "will happen," an agreement hasn't been reached yet. Ichiro will be a Yankee, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Sources: Ichiro to #Yankees will happen, not quite done. Sides still talking about structure - dollars, years. @cc660 of WFAN reported done.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2012
Ichiro will be a yankee— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 12, 2012
The Yankees acquired Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners in July in exchange for Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell. While he only hit .261/.288/.353 over 402 at-bats with the Mariners, Suzuki posted a far superior line of .322/.340/.454 with 13 doubles and five home runs over 227 at-bats as a member of the Yankees.
Suzuki made it clear that he hoped to re-sign with the Yankees this offseason. The veteran now provides New York with three left-handed-hitting outfielders.
Given they are still left with a void considering the expected loss of free agent slugger Nick Swisher, the Yankees could be in the market for another outfielder this winter. If they do sign one he’ll likely hit from the right side considering their current trio of left-handers.