Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Would You Trade Ichiro?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

There hasn't been much trade talk involving the Yankees in the last week after a flurry of it earlier in the month.  The latest back injury for Brendan Ryan should have stirred up more talk involving the D'backs, White Sox, and the deep crop of young Yankee catchers, but instead it was Ichiro Suzuki who made trade rumor headlines yesterday when Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were again trying to move Ichiro and were willing to eat some salary to get a "good" prospect in return.

This isn't the first time we've heard Ichiro's name in trade talks.  The Yankees have been trying to dump him for a while now that they've revamped their starting outfield (which will be previewed later today).  The problem with moving Ichiro is that he's basically valueless as a trade commodity.  He's super old, his skill set and production have declined dramatically, and he's owed way more money than any team would willingly take on for the level of production they'd get.  Good on the Yankees for attempting to ease that cost concern, but that's most likely not going to be enough to entice teams to give up even a mid-level prospect unless the Yanks are eating more than most of that $6.5 mil.

If the Yanks are willing to do that, the next thing they need to do is decide what their definition of a "good" prospect is and see if there's really any interest out there.  They were able to get something decent for Chris Stewart, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that they could do it again.  But if they're willing to pay Ichiro millions to not play for them, maybe they should be willing to pay him a few more to stay on as their 5th outfielder.  It ain't like the 4 ahead of him on the depth chart are pillars of health.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I wonder if one of the motivations for trading Ichiro would be to give the team more flexibility - for example, they could add all three of Solarte, Anna, and Nunez with the open bench and 40-man roster spot, and have both Johnson and Solarte back up the corners in the OF. Alternatively, they could bring up Zoilo and give the 40 man spot to someone like Matt Daley. If they can get anything reasonable for Ichiro, I would definitely pull the trigger, simply because it seems that the other candidates for both his 25 and 40-man spot have greater upside.