The Yankees began this offseason focusing on the pitching staff, but also expressed interest in eventually resigning Ichiro once new deals with Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera were finalized.
"At the beginning we talked a lot but since that time, zero," Ichiro's agent Tony Attanasio said. "As far as we are concerned we don't care what the Yankees do. We have had conversations with multiple clubs. If we see something we like he will go through with it."Earlier this offseason, however, Attanasio said Ichiro was willing to wait it out until the Yankees were ready to negotiate a new contract.
Though Ichiro is talking with several teams from around the league, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is not worried about losing the 10-time Gold Glove winner.
"Now that our pitching has been settled, which was our priority on the front end, we'll move from the defense to the offense and engage all the players we have interest in and have interest in us," Cashman told the New York Daily News.Cashman and the Yankees started their offseason by signing Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $15 million, then followed that move up by signing Pettitte and Rivera to one-year deals worth $12 and $10 million respectively in the final week of November.
While focusing on pitching, Ichiro was not the only free agent to grow impatient. Catcher Russell Martin, who hit 21 home runs in pinstripes last season, recently signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for two years and $17 million after the Yankees failed to match the deal.
Ichiro hit .283 last season with nine home runs, 55 RBI, and 29 stolen bases. However, the veteran All-Star thrived in the Bronx, batting .322 with five home runs and 28 RBI in his final 67 games after being acquired by the Yankees.
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