It's not much of a surprise that Ichiro Suzuki is going to be returning to the Yankees in 2013.

But 2014, too?

The Yankees and Ichiro were closing in on a two-year contract worth between $12 million-$13 million, a deal that will keep the veteran outfielder in pinstripes through his 41st birthday.

Ichiro has made no secret of his desire to come back to New York, having enjoyed his experience with the Yankees after being traded by the Mariners last July 23. The Yankees had hoped to sign him to a one-year deal, just as they have this winter with Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera and Kevin Youkilis, but Ichiro received a pair of two-year offers that threw a wrench into those plans.

The Phillies offered Ichiro two years and $14 million, while another team — believed to be the Giants, according to a source — offered $15 million over two years.

That forced the Yankees' hand, and although they gave in and offered a second year, Ichiro will take $2 million-$3 million less to stay in pinstripes. The deal could be finalized by Friday.

The Yankees are also still searching for a righthanded hitting outfielder to complement Ichiro, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson.

Scott Hairston is at the top of their list, but a source said he is believed to be hoping for a reunion with the Mets.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/yankees-ichiro-2-year-contract-article-1.1220037#ixzz2F1bxqcdC