On the day Ichiro Suzuki officially replaced Nick Swisher as the Yankees' right fielder, the club's chances of retaining Raul Ibanez didn't increase because the Mariners acquired left-handed hitting Kendry Morales from the Angels for lefty Jason Vargas.

Ichiro's two-year deal for $13 million was finalized Wednesday night and provides the Yankees with an all left-handed hitting outfield since Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson swing from that side.

The Yankees are looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder to complement their three outfielders. Because the Mariners have shown a strong interest in signing Ibanez to be the DH, getting the 29-year-old Morales could be taken as a sign the Mariners have backed off the 40-year-old Ibanez.

Nevertheless, according to people familiar with the Mariners' thinking, they still want Ibanez.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is talking to Ibanez's agents about returning, but the Mariners, Phillies and Rangers are also interested in the left-handed hitter who swatted 19 homers in the regular season and three more in October.

Getting Morales, who batted .273 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs last year, is a strong indication the Mariners have doubts about first baseman Justin Smoak, the centerpiece of the 2010 Cliff Lee deal, developing into a run-producing first baseman.