Yankees Hot Stove: Ichiro Suzuki - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Ichiro Suzuki - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Ichiro Suzuki - Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees Hot Stove: Ichiro Suzuki

English: Ichiro Suzuki on June 10, 2009.

English: Ichiro Suzuki on June 10, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Yankees signed 39-year old outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year deal somewhere between the $12-$13 million range.

Ichiro was great for the Yankees last year, as he was traded over mid-season from the Mariners and was the only semi-productive player during the 2012 postseason.

Many fans, including myself, are puzzled as to why Ichiro got a two-year deal when the new Yankees regime has been so tenacious about not spending any money or inking players to more than a season?

The Yankees lost players this winter because of their unwillingness to budge, like starting catcher Russell Martin, ex-Angels Torii Hunter, and Eric Chavez.

Last-year the 28-year old Martin hit 21 bombs, was great with the pitching staff and was solid a defensive catcher so why did he not get the same courtesy?

Instead the Yankees just watched Martin stroll to Pittsburgh without even making him a counter-offer to the 2-year, $17 million the Pirates gave him.

And it was the same story regarding Hunter, as inked with the Tigers because Detroit offered two seasons, which is better than one.

The Yankees didn’t even make a go at Hunter but instead watch the team who eliminated them in the 2011 and 2012 postseason improve. Real smart.

So why did the Yankees cave for Ichiro?

Well, here are my two presumptions:

        Desperation as hole in right field with Nick Swisher gone.

        Ichiro is a literal icon in his native Japan so he brings the Asian market, which means more green for Hal Steinbrenner.

Without a doubt Ichiro can play baseball. He is a natural hitter, a literal singles machine at least he used to be.

See Ichiro was fast track to has-been in Seattle for almost two seasons before being traded to New York.

Indeed Ichiro did turn back the clock once in the Bronx, but that was last year and things have drastically changed.

Thus far the 2013 Yankees are on the fast track to missing the postseason, and look to be fighting the Orioles for the AL East basement.

Surely there will be some hopeful moments but fact is the team is too old, and the prospects in their farm system are too young.

Could the young and old form a happy medium?

It is highly doubtful considering Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, and now A-rod are all returning from injuries that required surgery with lengthy rehabs.

The pitching looks pretty good but remember the Yankees play in the American League, which is littered with power hitters compared to the National League.

Bottom-line is while all the other AL East teams have gotten better this off-season, the Yankees have gotten significantly worse so Ichiro might be regretting this one done the line.


  1. richard says:

    1. It is not puzzling to a lot of us. We needed a right fielder on the cheap and we could only get him for 2 yrs as other teams were bidding 2 years.
    2. Martin is not a right fielder and Hunter was way out of the price range.
    3. Toronto got better – Baltimore remained the same – Boston got a little better- Tampa got worse and we can't expect to win 95 games, Can We?

  2. lolo says:

    Tampa got alot worse. Upton is way over-hyped and strikes out a ton but outside of Longo, their O took a major dive. Throw in the loss of Shields and I don't see Tampa competitive in 2013.

  3. lolo says:

    We get back Gardner and have Ichiro and Youk. All positives and will make up for Runs lost as a result of Martin and Swisher. Plus were not done yet. Yes there are question marks but did you predict 95 wins after Mo went down? Nobody did.

    Just a little more production with RISP and offensively we will be fine. Cash is not done yet so I'll not be concerned until Feb. This game is more about pitching and I like where we are.

    • LLP says:

      Mo is going to 43 and was hittable unlike when he was younger.

      There are 2 reasons the Yankees won 95 games last season:

      1) HOMERUNS


      A team is supposed to get better in the off-season, and the Yankees got worse. How could they let Chavez walk? He said he never even heard from the Yankees?

      Yankees will not win with this team and it is all Hal Steinbrenner's fault. He cannot win unless he spends money. Farm system is rotten at the top and maybe a 1/4 of the middle of the line prospects with serious potential will be a star, which is generous. Plus who do you think the Yankees will use in a trade?

      Hal wil pay dearly for this as he needs to run the team like his Dad did until the A-rod contract runs out and during that time build the farm system back up so by 2017 they can cut some payroll and bring up some stars of their own.

      • lolo says:

        You throw out these ideas like "Mo is 43 and more hittable now" and expect some of us to think WOW, I didn't know that. However, lust a little research on your part and you would know that Mo's H/9, WHIP, are actually a little lower than his 18 yr average. Moreover, his BB/9 have actually decreased. He's as good now as he ever was.

        And in 2013 we will win 90+ games with good starting pitching, better defense, timelier hitting and HR's.

        PLus Cash ain't done yet.

        • LLP says:

          I can't help but be worried about Mo.

          Mo missed the entire season last year and age starts to catch up with players faster past 40. It is just a fact.

          Mo's strikeout numbers declined in 2010 and 2011 by 15 or more # of strikeouts. His velocity has gone down and the reason he has survived is because he has pinpoint accuracy on his cutter. If he is off, he will get hit now.

          Soriano save the 2012 season, literally and he can take over for Mo when he retires in 2014 for at least 2-3 years.

  4. Tom says:

    How did the AL East get stronger other than Toronto?

    Baltimore did nothing
    Red Sox not as strong minus Gonzo, etc
    Rays notably weeker withput Upton, Keplinger Shields
    Yanks have same stating pitching back

  5. LLP says:

    Baltimore was even with us last season without Markakis.
    Red Sox got better.
    Rays traded for Escobar; and Shields was the only Rays pitcher the Yankees could beat consistently. Upton was hurt a lot and too many ups and downs to matter. Longoria can hit enough for the Rays with their pitching.
    Yankees pitching is good IF they can stay healthy. Phelps I love but it is a HUGE mistake to not bring Soriano back as insurance and for the 2-3 years after Mo goes on his Chipper Jones tour.
    Also, the AL and particularly in the East you need power bats to compete especially the Yankees and they lost too much.
    If you think Martin's absence will not affect the team you are nuts. Martin handled that staff wonderfully, and when your ace makes a public plea to bring him back you do it. And CC Sabathia did just that right after they were swept in the ALCS.

    How did the Yankees didn't grab Torii Hunter is beyond me? Tigers will embarrass Yankees in 2013, as they also have Victor Martinez back behind the dish again. Letting the team that has eliminated you for 2-seasons get better is not the Yankee way.

    • Tom says:

      Do you think Baltimore can repeat their success in 1 run games? Do you think they can give up more runs than they scored and make a run when no one else could?

      Red Sox got better than last place in the East, maybe!!! So what?

      Upton/Keppinger accounted for 20% of their run production, You don't think it matters? One guy Longo can REALLY do it ALL by himself. You need to start a football blog…………

      All Pitching staffs must stay healthy. This is not rocket science.

      • LLP says:

        Thank you Tom for your suggestion about starting a football bl ike og, maybe someday.

        Pitching is solid but in the AL, especially in the East have to hit because there are too many power bats.

        Can the O's repeat their success in 1 run games?
        They certainly could as O''s were missing some keep players in 2012 playoffs, like Markakis and there pitching staff steadily improved all season so I expect that to continue.