AP source: Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees close in on deal

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By RONALD BLUM, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki and the New York Yankees are closing in on a contract that would guarantee the outfielder between $12 million and $13 million.

A person familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing, said Thursday the agreement likely would be for a two-year deal.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners on July 23, the 39-year-old Suzuki revived his career in New York. He batted .261 with four homers, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 95 games with the Mariners, then hit .322 with five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals in 67 games for the Yankees to help them win the AL East.

A 10-time All-Star, Suzuki has 2,606 hits in 12 major league seasons.

New York also planned to finalize a $12 million, one-year contract on Friday with Kevin Youkilis, who is expected to start at third base during the first half of the season while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery scheduled for next month.

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