The Yankees were running into some roster troubles with a full 40-man roster and six different outfielders taking up valuable space. Finally, and mercifully, Vernon Wells was designated for assignment to clear room for Matt Thornton, however, that still leaves Brian Roberts floating in limbo. If the Yankees keep their best outfielders, they will have Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano on the opening day roster, and Ichiro Suzuki will be elsewhere.
The Yankees have been interested in trading Ichiro for awhile now, but it's no surprise that teams aren't exactly excited to acquire the 40-year-old outfielder, coming off one of the worst offensive performances of the 2013 season, at the premium cost of $6.5 million. There was the rumor of the Giants being interested in a trade, but then that rumor died down before it even got started. Then there was talk of a bad contract swap between the Yankees and Diamondbacks, with New York acquiring J.J. Putz, but nothing serious ever heated up.
It's believed that the Yankees will try to trade as much of Ichiro's salary as they can, but it's likely that they will have to eat a lot of money in the end. Almost all of it. On top of that, they probably won't get much of anything back for him. Probably someone even worse than who they got for Chris Stewart, who didn't seem that bad, considering.
Still, being able to move Ichiro off the roster would be a victory in my book. Despite the loss of money and the lack of anything coming back, just getting him off the team would be worth it. The way the roster is shaping up at the moment, it looks like it could come down to having Ichiro or having a third baseman other than Alex Rodriguez on the team. If A-Rod gets suspended, then all bets are off, but right now it seems like a backup third baseman is more important than a fifth outfielder. This is just what happens when you have platoon players at multiple positions.