Ichiro Suzuki returning to Yankees -- reports

Ichiro Suzuki - Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Ichiro Suzki will return to the New York Yankees next season -- and the season after that.

Ichiro Suzuki will return to the New York Yankees for a two-year, $13-million contract, Jon Heyman of CBS tweeted this morning.

Ichiro back to the Yankees is no surprise. The veteran outfielder had expressed the desire to return after a successful 67-game stint in New York last season during which he hit .32/.340/.354 with five home runs and 14 stolen bases.

The surprise is that the Yankees, who have given one-year contracts to all of their own returning free agents, as well as third baseman Kevin Youkilis, went to two years for the 39-year-old Suzuki.

The Daily News says that offers from other teams -- likely the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants -- "forced the Yankees hand."

Will the Yankees regret the second year of Ichiro's deal? That depends largely on whether Ichiro resembles the player the Yankees saw last season, or if he plays like the guy who spent the first 95 games with the Seattle Mariners compiling a career-worst .261/.288/.353 slash line.

Ichiro gives the Yankees a completely left-handed hitting outfield along with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner.

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