As the Yankees officially introduced Carlos Beltran as their latest free-agent addition on Friday, they essentially said goodbye to Ichiro Suzuki.

Ichiro still is on the roster in the Bronx, due $6.5 million for 2014. The 40-year-old outfielder is 258 hits away from 3,000 in his major league career after reaching the milestone of 4,000 combined in MLB and Japan this past season. That career highlight was a happy part of an otherwise lousy season, as Ichiro hit .262/.297/.342 with a career-low 136 hits for the season.

With Beltran joining an outfield that includes fellow free agent signee Jacoby Ellsbury, as well as holdovers Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano, the Yankees have a choice to make between Ichiro and Vernon Wells, because they currently have six outfielders under contract.

"I don't think it's the preferable situation," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "There's an abundance there, and at some point, something's gonna give. So, it's certainly not something we would go with by design. ... Predominantly, we're going to be looking to have — in no order, Gardner with Ellsbury manning the massive defensive side of this field (left and center field at Yankee Stadium), on an everyday basis, along with Soriano and Beltran. Joe (Girardi) will be able to pick and choose who's playing the field and who's DH-ing. Throughout that process, I think the DH spots will be more divided up between more the Beltran and Soriano side, but there will be no exclusive DH."

Cashman mentioned neither Ichiro nor Wells, but there is a key difference between the two veterans. While Ichiro is due $6.5 million, Wells costs the Yankees nothing for luxury tax purposes, a boon to New York's quest to avoid the surcharge by getting the payroll under $189 million, something Cashman declined to discuss.