Though free agent Ichiro Suzuki has drawn interest from around the league, the 39 year-old outfielder is waiting for the New York Yankees to decide if they would like to bring him back next season before negotiating with other teams, reports George A. King III of the New York Post.
"They are going after pitching first which is what the Yankees normally do," said Ichiro's agent, Tony Attanasio. "There has been a lot of interest from teams, but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it's hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see."
After letting right fielder Nick Swisher leave through free agency as New York looks to stay away from long-term deals, the Yankees appear to have mutual interest in Ichiro returning next season. However, as Attanasio said, the Yankees are focused on resigning starter Andy Pettitte and closer Mariano Rivera before turning to other needs.
The 10-time Gold Glove winner hit just .261 with four home runs, 28 RBI, and 15 stolen bases in his first 95 games with the Seattle Mariners last season, but bounced back after being acquired by the Yankees late in the season to hit .322 with five home runs, 27 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 67 games.
Ichiro also produced in the postseason, batting .275 with 11 hits and five RBI in nine games.
Though Ichiro's return to the Bronx is likely, the Yankees are also looking to sign a power-hitting corner outfielder to replace some of Swisher's production. Free agent Scott Hairston is one candidate the Yankees have shown interest in early this offseason.
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