It’s almost official but looks like the Yanks will have their Ichi for Christmas.
[Photo Via: New York Times]
 Tee-hee...you DO know what "Chin Chin" means in Japanese, right AB?
Two years, huh.
Was hoping it would be a one-year deal. 2014 dollars are precious, so unless they structure this with a high first year payment with a team option for the second, this is going to cost $6-7 million against an already tight 2014 budget.
 I am very happy, I wish my chin-chin was as happy, but alas, unless I get lucky soon, I'm looking at a dry Xmas.
Before this deal, the Yanks would have had zero OF under contract for 2014 and a pending arbitration award for Brett Gardner, probably in the 5-6 million range. In order to get under the 189 number, that would probably leave room for one star OF and a league minimum guy.
Now they have Ichiro for 2014 at that same price so the Yanks can get back to the same basic math by non-tendering or trading Gardner after 2013.
Or they can keep Gardner and have less room for a star OF for the third spot.
1) I don't. Uh-oh, whaddid I say?
Deal is reportedly done. Heyman with the tweet.
 Haaaa!! You were probably thinking of the Italian version, huh? This is terrible in light of that...
 The flaw in this plan, if that is indeed the plan, is that Ichiro has been pretty bad the last couple of seasons, despite his pleasing performance for the Yankees. It is likely the 2014 version would be outplayed by a replacement level player languishing in AAA. Maybe it would have been better to go into 2014 with no OF than to have the only one under contract a 41 y.o. making $6 million or whatever the figure is.
 I can only think they are lining themselves up for a few trades, and if that's the case, I hope it's for MLB-ready prospects. Seems like Cash has either lost his evaluation touch or is hogtied in a basement while the PR people impersonate him while Hank leads the underlings in personnel decisions...
10) I think this is a PR move too. If the Yanks have the magnificently craptacular team it appears they will in 2014 (exagerating a bit), they will need something to draw fans to see a team on the decline before they can open up the checkbooks again in 2015.
2014 might be Ichiro's last season in the majors, and possibly Jeter's unless he tries to break Rose's hit record. Which might become a nightmare for the Yanks "braintrust."
Maybe there will be some pleasant surprises and some of the young pitchers will put it all together and my fears will not be realized, but I have a hard time believing that the Yanks can get under the 189 mil in 2014 and have the old guys around and Tex's fading numbers and ARod giving us all he has left. 2014 is as close to rebuilding as the Yanks have been able to do, in the win now era of Steinbrenner ownership.
That said, it will be interesting when the 2015 hot stove opens and the Yanks come out with both checkbooks blazing.
 So when he came to the Yankees he just somehow magically played far better than he's capable of now? And that's a better explanation than getting out of loser-town with the Ms gave him a reason to play hard again?
Still definitely a PR move.
Ichiro and Jeter are outliers for old players (for whatever reason). I don't mind having them around for 2014 regardless of what they don't have; like Greg said it might be their last season. I'm more and more certain Alex retires well before his contract is through; his hips won't lie, let's just say.
And Brett has an important year coming up; if he can stay healthy and produce solid speed-guy numbers, I'd keep him a few years more, but if he gets injured again, they'll probably let him go and let someone else take that risk for better or for worse.
But honestly, I have no idea what they intend to do. They seem to be all over the map with their intentions and decisions; trading good talent they were impatient with for peaking players that decline almost immediately, all while trying to avoid a bigfoot tax that may not even be as bad as they think. $12 million for Youk and two years of Ichiro seems like they really don't have their isht together.
 Who knows why he played better. Maybe it was a 240 PA dead cat bounce. His OBP was still only .340, coming mostly from .322 BA. Plus his numbers were helped by 5 HRs. Can he maintain that kind of performance for 450 PA? At age 40? After a couple of pretty bad years in Seattle? I doubt it.
But whatever. As Chyll points out , there seems to be little plan at all.
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