MLB.com's Greg Johns reports that Eric Wedge is thinking about "non-leadoff options" for Ichiro Suzuki. A snip:
Eric Wedge first brought up at the Winter Meetings in Dallas in early December the idea that Ichiro Suzuki might not be his leadoff hitter any longer, and the Mariners manager said Thursday he's now "further down the road in leaning that direction to have Ichi hit somewhere else."
Speaking at the Mariners pre-Spring Training media luncheon, Wedge expanded on his thoughts, saying Ichiro could bat second or third if he's not leading off. And he mentioned Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins and perhaps a healthier Franklin Gutierrez as candidates to fill the leadoff role.
The New York Yankees finalized their deal with Hiroki Kuroda. He gets a one-year deal worth US$10M and can earn up to an additional US$1M in performance bonuses ($200,000 each for 160, 170, 180, 190, and 200 innings).
When reporters asked Hideki Matsui to comment on the possibility of signing with a National League team, he replied, "I think I will ok. Although I really do not know how things will go until I try."
On Thursday, Matsui took 116 swings, from both side of the plate, during soft toss BP.
Koji Uehara posted an update on his blog about his workouts (long throws at about 90 meters on Wednesday and about five minutes of pitching, on flat ground, on Thursday) and his concerns about where he might be playing next year (he feels anxious).