With the New York Yankees in a bit of a cost-cutting mode going into last season, there were some questions about whether or not they would bring back Ichiro Suzuki. There were reports during the season that Brian Cashman didn’t want him back, and that he wanted to re-sign Russell Martin and sign Nate Schierholtz to play right field. What happened? Well, the Yankees re-signed him and for two seasons. Was it smart? Before we get to that, let’s relive his 2013 campaign.
2013 Stats: .262/.297/.342, seven homeruns, 35 RBI, 20 stolen bases
2013 Game Of The Year: Even though he had the night where he reached 4,000 hits, I’m going to go with his performance May 10 against the Kansas City Royals. In the Yankees 11-6 win, Ichiro went 3-5, homered, doubled, drove in two runs, scored three runs and stole a base. A vintage Ichiro performance.
2014 Outlook: Unless they find a taker for him, Ichiro will be back as a Yankee next year. The question is will the 40 year old start? Down the stretch, you really didn’t see a whole lot of Ichiro playing. After a July that saw him hit .302, he hit only .228 in August and only .212 in September. If the Yankees choose to upgrade in right field (Carlos Beltran how you doin?) Ichiro could find himself riding the bench in a part-time role. Not exactly how you want to allocate $6 million, but it is what it is. This could be our last chance to watch Ichiro, so he could be very motivated to give it one last shot.