Friday, December 14, 2012
It’s not much of a surprise that Ichiro Suzuki is going to be returning to the Yankees in 2013.
But 2014, too?
The Yankees and Ichiro were closing in on a two-year contract worth between $12 million-$13 million, a deal that will keep the veteran outfielder in pinstripes through his 41st birthday.
I’m having a tough time reconciling the fact that the Yankees are willing to go two years on Ichiro while targeting a payroll of $189M in 2014. Ichiro would probably project to be worth about the two wins over two seasons he needs to be to make the contract reasonable, but if you can’t produce a one win player for less than $6M what the hell are you doing?
Ichiro may have some impact in revenue and marketing beyond his on-the-field value as he moves towards 3000 MLB hits, but it’s highly unlikely he gets there by the end of 2014. So it’s tough to justify the contract in that regard.
This means that the Yankees have $6M less to play with in 2014 for a team that’s likely to have a lot of holes. They have to replace/re-sign some combination of Mariano Rivera/Phil Hughes/Hiroki Kuroda/Andy Pettitte/Curtis Granderson/Kevin Youkilis/Robinson Cano or they’re likely looking at a 70-75 win team.
Can they do that? Time will tell.
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