The signings of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran were good news for the Yankees. Perhaps not for Ichiro Suzuki, though. “With those additions, I’m going to have to find a place for myself,” Ichiro said through a translator about where he fits into this Yankee team. “But I’ve worked this offseason, worked on a lot of things and throughout spring training, hopefully those things will come together.” With Ellsbury in center, Beltran in right and Brett Gardner in left, not to mention Alfonso Soriano, it’s hard to see where Ichiro will get much playing time. When asked if he was frustrated by the fact he was likely being shoved aside with the arrival of the new outfielders, Ichiro said: “I don’t get frustrated or angry. My reaction was, ‘Oops.’ ” And while his name popped up in trade rumors at various times during the offseason, nothing seemed to gain much traction — since it’s not easy to find a new home for a declining 40-year-old outfielder who is coming off perhaps his worst season. He was aware of the trade rumblings. “When you’re here with the Yankees, you tend to think about those things,” Ichiro said shortly after arriving at George M. Steinbrenner Field Wednesday. “You just never know what great players are coming here, so I thought about a lot of things which I think a lot of people do.” As for whether he’d prefer to be somewhere else where he might be assured of more playing time, Ichiro laughed and said: “[I’m] not going to fall for questions like that. … My job up to this point was to come here healthy and in good shape and that’s what I did. We’ll see where it goes.” He’s owed $6.5 million this season and his future is unclear and with 2,742 major league hits, there is still one more milestone for Ichiro to reach.
Ichiro looks for role in Yankees’ crowded outfield
New York Post | Feb 20