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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.