Ichiro Suzuki and the Yankees are close to finalizing a two-year deal in the $12 to $13 million dollar range. I've made my thoughts on Ichiro for two years known already, but I'm not the one writing the checks. The Yankees (and all of us) better hope that Ichiro is the guy he was in New York and not the guy he was for a much longer time in Seattle prior to the trade.
Kevin Youkilis got some support from his new teammates in the form of Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain tossing some kind words his way. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano had already done the same. Hopefully the fans can follow suit, because he's one of our own now.
The Yankees released their Spring Training schedule this week, announcing that pitchers and catchers will report on February 12th. The first real game will be against the Atlanta Braves on February 23rd in Lake Buena Vista. None of this can get here soon enough.
Rivera promises to be ready to pitch on Opening Day after recovering from his torn ACL. He hasn't actually started throwing yet, but expects to begin that soon. CC Sabathia will begin throwing again after Christmas on his way to recovering from surgery on his elbow. Sabathia has started his preparation for the next season after Christmas the past couple of years, so he seems to be right on schedule.