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UPDATE: Not so fast on the Yankees — Ichiro deal

Nov 27, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

UPDATE: Despite what Nikkan Sports is reporting, many are now saying that there is no deal in place between Ichiro and the Yankees.  Joel Sherman just went so far as to say that a deal has not yet been seriously discussed.

So, yeah, stand by for further updates.

9:20 AM: It’s “sign old guys day” in the Bronx. First was Andy Pettitte and now it’s Ichiro:

It felt weird to see Ichiro in anything but a Seattle Mariners’ uniform, but he took to Yankee pinstripes quite nicely after last season’s trade, hitting .322 with five home runs and a .794 OPS after coming over from the Mariners in July.

Ichiro is a mere three months younger than your creaky, grumpy and bald blogger here, but he still has game. Not the $17 million worth of game he was paid for in 2012, but at $5 million keeping him in New York makes a heck of a lot of sense.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    It’ll be interesting to see how intense the incentives are on this deal. Is is the type of thing that allows him to get back to his old salary with all-kinds of escalators for stolen bases, hit totals, runs scored, Gold Gloves, etc…or is it merely a veteran trying to stick with a contender in hopes of capturing a ring?! Either way, it seems like a good fit.

    Ichiro ain’t the player he was, but he can still run a little, still play some defense, and can still hit well…when he’s motivated. It’s a shame he didn’t leave Seattle at the end of his first big contract. They had that one good year that made him think they were righting the ship when he signed that extension. Think if he’d have landed with a contender and stayed motivated and surrounded by good bats in the years that followed.

    It’ll be fun to see what he’s got in the tank going forward.

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      I don’t think the collective bargaining agreement permits player contracts to include the types of performance-related incentives that you envision, such as for SBs, hits, and runs.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Really? I thought A-Rod had a bunch of those in his deal. Or maybe those only count because they fall under the “historical milestone” category or whatever.

      • Detroit Michael - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        Yes, the A-Rod milestones for career HRs supposedly was for the publicity value. However, MLB / MLBPA have agreed to not approve new contract provisions along those lines.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      I think the ONLY incentive a team can offer a position player is basically PA’s. The “milestone” type of incentive A-Rod and Pujols got according to everything I’ve read recently have since been poopooed by MLB and the Players Union.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Thanks for the clarification. It’s always hard to keep up with all of the changes in the CBAs.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Yeah those kind of incentives might be begging for trouble. Imagine an incentive for a stolen base milestone. The player might take off when his Manager may want him to stay put!

  2. humanexcrement - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    To me this is a pretty low-risk move. They’ll probably bring in one more outfielder and let them compete for time. As long as that guy isn’t Raul Ibanez, things should be fine. I doubt Ichiro will be as good as he was in his short time with the Yankees last year, but he should be significantly better than he was in Seattle, playing in a much better hitter’s park with much more protection in the lineup.

  3. historiophiliac - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Playing well and “taking to the pinstripes” are two different things. He still looks weird in that uni, and I will feel badly for him if he made the move and doesn’t get a championship.

    • cur68 - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      He does look weird in that get up. He should have played his career in white and blue with birds and a maple leaf. However, if he doesn’t get that championship in the ‘stripes I for one will not be too upset. If all goes well and Anthopolous’s bold moves pay off, Ichiro might well be wishing he had some of The Beav. Of course should the unthinkable happen and The Empire is ascendent then I shall tip my cap to him: he’s been a class act and elite player for a long time and a championship for him wouldn’t be too hard to take.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        I said I’d feel bad for him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also hope the Tigers repeat their tromping the Stanks next year. :) That said, I always root for the AL to win, so if he does get the ring, I’m pleased with that too.

        But he still looks wrong in pinstripes…he looks UNCOMFORTABLE.

      • ferrisdp - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        He “looks uncomfortable” — thanks Dr. Phil.

    • anxovies - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Actually, I think he looks good in pinstripes. He is a very elegant guy and the simple blue and white do him more justice than the mariners colors. There. My fashion statement for this century.

  4. uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    This is starting to shape up like a very good week for the Yankees and us fans. Ichiro in the fold on the cheap $5MM plus incentives. And Pettitte and Rivera happening just around the corner. Very nice.

    • indaburg - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      I know some of us have been predicting (er.. hoping?) for the demise of the Yankees for quite some time, but seriously, in terms of baseball years, these guys are older than dirt. Yet, they keep performing. What kind of Faustian deal do they have? Can I get whatever it is they’re drinking?

  5. number42is1 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    If my math is right and God has a real sense of humor… The M’s are winning the WS in 2013

  6. slartibartfast4242 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Pretty good deal. Basically they are re-delegating Pedro Feliciano and Andrew Jones money. Still, I like Ichiro as a 4th outfielder than an everyday starter due to age/small sample size, etc. So, here’s hoping he’d allay my fears and add another all-star season to his illustrious career.

  7. uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    This signing when it becomes official makes the Red Sox signing of Gomes at the same dollars look even more absurd then it did when the Red Sox announced it.

    • larrytsg - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      As a Sox fan, yeah it leaves you scratching your head, thinking that Gomes and Ichiro are the same price.

      Kind of like your neighbor showing you his certified pre-owned Lexus and you comparing it to your brand new Kia… same price, same basic functionality, but one item is MUCH nicer than the other.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Phil Hughes may be the happiest man in NY today. You have to figure the Yankees’ flyballiest pitcher loves the idea of Gardy-Grandy-Ichy in the OF, and keeping Ibanez out of it. His ERA should drop by a run, run and a half.

    • badintent - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:27 AM

      You nailed it . Hughes is happier than a rapper with all 3 Kardashian sisters in a bigass water bed ! sorry Odom.

  9. willclarkgameface - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Nothing like getting older. 3rd place or bust New York!

    • uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Considering non Yankees fans have been talking about the demise of the Yankees since nearly before time, some fans may want to change their tune since the last time the Yankees finished 3rd or worse in AL East was 1992. Now “willclarkgameface” I don’t know how old you are but may be even before the collective memories of many on this board.

      • bravojawja - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        And these days third place can get you into the playoffs. If the Yanks play their dollars right, they could make a long, long run of postseason appearances.

      • ferrisdp - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        Let’s see, the Phillies, 2nd highest payroll at start of 2012 about $175 MM, didn’t make the playoffs. Red Sox, about $1MM less, we all know what happened there. Dodgers next, at $155, didn’t make the playoffs. For the record, Yankees payroll was $197 MM, about 1 star player less than the Phils. All you whiners should tell your GMs to learn how to spend their money like the Yankees do. Then they’ll make the Playoffs every year but one since 1995.

  10. awesomenar - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    The deal’s not done apparently:

  11. ejannetta - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    The Yanks get Ichiro for $5mil and the Red Sox get Gomes for $5mil..the Sox got screwed on that deal. …Gomes wouldn’t even be a stater on a lot of teams.

  12. uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    OK there is an update. But given a choice between what Japan’s Nikkan Sports is reporting and what Joel Sherman is reporting I think the odds tilt in favor of Nikkan Sports. While the deal may not be finalized yet it’s probably pretty darn close.

  13. dundonald - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Two no power corner outfielders with Ichiro and Gardner.
    Bronx Bunters or Bronx Bombers?

    • uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      dundonald, do you know the Yankees lead the Major Leagues in HR’s last year with 245 the 2nd place team had 214 (Jays). Subtract Swisher’s 24 from the 245 and the Yankees still would have lead the Major Leagues with 221. A little small ball every once in a while isn’t a bad thing.

      • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        Who’s to say that Ichiro won’t add 10-15 homers of his own to the mix; that would hypothetically make it 231 to 236 home runs.

      • badintent - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

        Jeter was saying that Ichiro can homer 10 straight BP balls with ease. Not his type of game stroke but the point is he still has the bat speed to do it. He did homer in the first play off I think in a late inning too.Point is it that he still has power alley power to hit doubles, triples and take the extra base on an errant throw. One order of Wagyu steak at $125 a steak . Order up, batter up !

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