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?
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.
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.