UPDATE: Larry Stone is saying the five-year pact could approach $100MM. David Cameron agrees. And Ken Rosenthal has adjusted his figure from $75-90MM to $90-100MM. An agreement appears imminent. Looks like the Ms are paying full sticker price for Ichiro, though it’s not a bad deal. Torii Hunter may be positioned as the best available center fielder this winter.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times describes how drastically the atmosphere has changed in Seattle over the last year, especially from Ichiro’s point of view. Gone are the negative tree metaphors; the vibe is positive under John McLaren. Winning doesn’t hurt either.
Stone speculates that a contract extension could happen soon for Ichiro. He may not be a home run hitter, and he may not draw walks. But all the hits have led to a strong .379 career OBP. And he’s hit enough triples and doubles to bring his career SLG to .439 despite averaging about ten home runs per year. Throw in premium center field defense and international appeal, and a four-year, $72MM extension sounds fair.