Dec 8, 2013, 3:58 PM EDT
Brett Gardner trade rumors are all the rage at the moment, but he’s not the only Yankees outfielder on the block. This comes from beat writer Chad Jennings of New York’s Journal News:
According to one rival executive, the Yankees have also mentioned Ichiro Suzuki’s name in trade talks. There’s no indication that any sort of Ichiro trade is close, and his trade value is minimal at best. One baseball source questioned how well Ichiro would adjust to a fourth outfielder role, which is the way most teams are likely to value him.
Ichiro turned 40 years old in October and batted just .262/.297/.342 in 555 plate appearances this summer for the Yankees. He has a .305 on-base percentage and .661 OPS in his last 473 big league games.
Gardner would obviously fetch a much better return, but he’s also by far the better player. If the Yankees aren’t overwhelmed by a trade proposal for him, they can simply break up their outfield surplus by giving Ichiro away. A starting outfield of Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran would look pretty sharp.
Ichiro is set to make $6.5 million in 2014 — the final year of a two-year, $13 million contract.
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