After signing both Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, the Yankees have quite a lot of outfielders under contract for the 2014 season. Joining these free agent acquisitions are Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki. While Beltran or Soriano would probably DH instead of playing the field, this still leaves the Yankees with a surplus of outfielders.
Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo has speculated that the Yankees will try to move Ichiro in the coming weeks, and that the San Francisco Giants might be one team that would be interested in the 40 year old former All-Star. Cafardo writes, "It'll be interesting to see whether in the next few weeks the Yankees can move him. With Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfonso Soriano, and Vernon Wells also in a crowded outfield, Ichiro, who can still play defense but can't hit at the level he used to, could be a functional player for someone. The Giants always remain a possibility."
While no sources have come forward to say that the teams are actively discussing a trade around Ichiro, the fact remains that the Giants are probably looking to add some depth to their bench, as, like the Yankees, injuries played a major role in their disappointing 2013 season. Still, they likely won't be willing to give up very much in return for Ichiro, who hit just .262/.297/.342, with 20 stolen bases, last season. Additionally, he is owed over $6 million this coming year, which is quite a bit to pay someone who may end up primarily as a pinch runner and late game defensive replacement. If the Giants are willing to pay a pretty penny for some speed and defense off the bench, the Yankees should move Ichiro in a heart beat, even if all they get back is a low end prospect.
At least if the Yankees get a young player back, that player will have some slight potential to be a serviceable major league player. Ichiro, on the other hand, has almost no potential to be decent anymore. If the Giants will take him, I'm all for it.
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