Breaking: A-Rod not retiring, Brian Cashman pleased with this

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That shouldn’t be news, but after two days worth of Yankees reporters channeling all of the front office’s fantasies about A-Rod quitting baseball and sparing them the expense of the contract they willingly gave him, here is some actual information about all of that from Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York: he’s not retiring and the person who matters most in the Yankees front office is fine with that:

Alex has no plans at all to retire,” one source with close personal ties to the embattled third baseman told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday. Another source, authorized by Rodriguez to speak on his behalf, passed this along: “Alex says he’s working diligently on his rehabilitation and is looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible.”

And Brian Cashman?

When informed of Rodriguez’ comments, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who has avoided commenting publicly on Rodriguez’s latest incident, responded with one word: “Good.”

In two quotes both the insurance fraud scheme and the Yankees plan to negotiate A-Rod down to $200 and a few gift cards out of shame or whatever is out the window.  Pity.

As for the earlier reports from the Daily News and others saying this was the end of A-Rod: I’m sure someone in the Yankees front office told you that. How you hear it, however, and don’t immediately challenge your source as to the ridiculous of it or, at the very least, note your dubiousness of their claims in your article, is beyond me.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?