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Ichiro Extension In The Works

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.


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An '08 outfield of Adam Jones, Ichiro, and Wladimir Balentien is sweet.
The Mariners need starting pitching (the bullpen is fabulous).
Jeff Clement is also looking ready to join the majors, but what do you do with him while Johjima is hitting so well??
The large contracts of Sexson, Vidro, and Guillen will hurt next year.

With both Alou and Green leaving after this season, I would have absolutely LOVED seeing Ichiro in RF. Milledge/Gomez, Beltran, Ichiro would have to be the top defensive OF in the majors.

Guillen's 08 contract is a club option

"if club does not exercise 2008 option, Guillen may exercise 2008 option for $5M, and club may void & pay buyout"

The buyout is only $0.5 MM

I don't buy it yet.

Omar wants Ichiro. Shea Stadium wants Ichiro.

God wants Ichiro to be a Met.


That is terrifying.

Latest posts at the Seattle Post-Intelliger, www.lookoutlanding.com, and www.ussmariner.com.

Ichiro is re-signing with the M's, to be announced Friday, terms ~5years and ~$100m.

Sorry, New York. Find a different HOF leadoff bat.

5years and ~$100m.

20 mil a year?? Man...that seems high. I like the guy a lot...but man. 20 mil? If this happens...Boras is going to want 20 mil for Andruw and his .200 BA.

Ichiro will probably never leave Seattle. He's become an institution. These contracts are starting to make me sick to my stomach though. They need to start regulating this crap before it gets completely out of hand. Nobody's worth $20MM per year. Enough devaluing of the American dollar please.

20 mil a year is high based only on his baseball skills. Given his popularity with the japanese population and Seattle's large Asian market, this was a smart move for the M's and well worth it.

smart move for the Ms...bad move for baseball. I thought Soriano's was bad...this may be worse. But hey, to me, Sori has been worth it...maybe Ichiro will be too...

Sorry, but again....damn...20 mil a year for 5 years?

I think this is a deal that will come back to haunt Seattle. Suzuki's skills aren't the skills that age particularly well. As long as he can keep his wheels like Ricky Henderson it should just be a somewhat high priced contract, if he loses them though its going to be one that hurts the franchise in the later years of it.

To think I've been arguing with Reds fans that though he could be had for less then 13 million next season.

And just to be clear what side I was on, I stated that some team would over pay for his skills and the contract would be closer to 20 million per year then 10.

"think this is a deal that will come back to haunt Seattle."

I'd be more willing to be it comes back to haunt Ichiro, as Seattle will suck ass for the next 5 years, and he's not going to sniff a championship.

Hehe. I'll take that bat. Seattle is a young team (Felix/Lopez/Betancourt/Morrow) with solid veterans (Ichiro/Putz/Johjima/Beltre) which is only getting better (Adam Jones/Wlad/Clement/Aumont).

No guaranteed World Series titles, but I think the M's are back. ^_^

Also - $20m/per may turn out to be a good contract. Ichiro is relentless in his workouts, so I don't see a declining - his player type ages best overall. Also, he's the total package - great hitting, fantastic defense, superb baserunning (doesn't run unless he knows he can make it). You can't find a better leadoff hitter OR a better CF.



"You can't find a better leadoff hitter OR a better CF."

Yes I can. For both. Quite easily.

Ichiro's skills aren't the type that age well. In fact, they're the type that age the WORST. One-dimensional players age much faster than multi-dimensional players, be they players who only display power or speed. It is the players that can do both that age well, as if one drops off, they have something to fall back on.

On the other hand, I think Ichiro could age better than the typical speed-oriented player, just because he is so relentless in his efforts to improve himself - this is well known. However, this is still a giant risk, and at $20 million per year, the market is going to suffer yet another blow. I thought it was coming back down to earth with the Buehrle signing, but I guess not. Maybe it will for pitchers at least.

Nobody's worth $20MM? Please. Many players are worth more than $30MM annually. Baseball is a massive business with tons of money in it.

Hey, way to be overconfident about nothing. That list of players you're touting is not particularly scary.

The original post says "This isn't a bad deal." Uh, yeah it is. $20 million a year for Ichiro? At his age? For five years?

The problem here is, I think the market will come down eventually. Because there are only so many teams that can hand out $20 million a year contracts.

Where's the home town discount if the atmosphere has changed so much? It was iffy he could've even got that on the free agent market. The past two years he put up a .786, even with the steals that's not enough. He's 34 at the end of this year and he's never cracked an .869 OPS.

This deal is so bad, it's one of those deals that makes other bad deals look less bad. If Ichiro is worth 5/20, all of a sudden the villified Gary Mathews Jr deal of 4/40 looks like a steal. The Juan Pierre deal doesn't even look as bad. If Ichiro is worth $20 million a year through age 39 or 40 maybe J.D. Drew really is worth $14 million a year, or Carlos Lee $16 million. All of a sudden even a struggling Manny looks like a fair price.

Pat Burrell looks like he's fairly compensated now! So does Adrian Beltre.

No hometown discount, bad deal. Who was going to top that deal in free agency? Somebody would pay 6/132? I doubt it.

"The original post says "This isn't a bad deal." Uh, yeah it is. $20 million a year for Ichiro? At his age? For five years? "

You do realize contracts aren't based 100% on baseball skill, don't you? How does Juan Pierre or Gary Matthews or Alfonso Soriano or JD Drew bring in the market that Ichiro does? Business-wise, Ichiro should be a top 5 paid player.

Tim is right about players out there worth a lot more than this. It's either the owners or the players make this money. Baseball teams, with 81 home games and TV deals, are cash cows.

“Nobody's worth $20MM per year. Enough devaluing of the American dollar please.”

Yeah astralpanda, as others have stated ~ it isn’t really that bad… Want to see bad, check out the Movie industry!

Baseball players (and all sports figs really) do a couple things…
A) they actually play
B) they risk horrible, horrible things happening to their body for entertainment purposes and
C) those entertainment purposes! That’s afterall what they are, theyre there for our entertainment! Don’t you think they put on a better reality show than Springer who probably makes 5Xs that?
D) Sacrifice a good portion of their lives! I don’t mean they die quicker, but being on the road all the time away from your family is a sacrifice. Their kids oftentimes suffer the most, and although the money is amazing ~ many players just want more time with them…
E) do one of the hardest things in the world to do to earn a good portion of the money brought in by the sport instead of it all going to the suits… Hitting a baseball is possibly the hardest thing there is to do, and throwing one is the most unnatural for a body... No matter how many of us say we can do better than some of the bums employed in the league ~ we cant!
F) because the owners don’t like to lose and will always overpay the current market range on talent, further driving up the price of talent even if they don’t really have it to spend… it’s a rollercoaster that would be hard to stop even if you wanted to. They should be making most of what the sport brings in, “F” kind of ensures that actually is the case…

Oh, and RE: Ichiro…
Stat-wise, there are quite a few guys who are all around “better”, but none with the alluring “better with astronomical market appeal” though as Ichiro is light-years ahead of the next best with his Japan fanbase… Can you think of any other single player who could make a forgetful team like Sea a worldwide best seller product wise? He is “worth” it because of those other aspects…

The ramifications on future contracts and effect on the smaller market teams could be devastating though and it will be interesting to see if it does affect the other CFers avail…

I would like to add to that that though...
… It would be great if our soldiers were paid like our players and our players were paid like our soldiers ~ but this is the world we live in! Whats really important to people, a threat they cant see & think they could never be effected by or the joy of entertainment and being “happy” for a while doing so? People are too self-centered to change the priorities of the world, and inturn we see people who make us look better or happier for a moments time making much more than the ones risking their lives to save ours…

At least some of the value in having Ichiro around are the quotes he gives.

The size of the contract he's getting is just an indication of how much we Americans are willing to pay to be entertained. Like, we'll pay a lot, so entertaining guys like Ichiro end up in huge demand.

Ichiro is to Seattle as Clemens was to Houston.

The Astros (I believe) sold-out every game Clemens started over the past few years. By signing Clemens, the Astros made millions more in ticket, merchandise, and other revenue.

Ichiro does the same for Seattle, albeit its harder to quantify since he plays every day instead of every 5th day. But while they are paying Ichiro $20 million per year, he's making them back at least a few million a year that they otherwise wouldn't make.

Plus, he's so popular in Seattle it would have a negative impact on the fan base if he left.

Is he overpaid for his talent? Yes. But Seattle makes some of the money back due to his popularity. Plus, he'll make a great closer for the last couple years of the contract

Well, I'll never agree with post that says baseball players are worth what they earn. The international appeal is a factor, there's no doubting it, but I think people are beginning to play it up too much in regards to this contract. Reading this board, you'd think every Japanese citizen sends the Mariners a $10,000 check just for having Ichiro. Two years ago I think people underestimated international appeal - now they're overestimating it. We hear about Ichiro, is Matsuzaka really bringing in the billions of new fans that everyone promised? I think people overestimated Matsuzaka's effect on international appeal for the Red Sox.

Some purely anecdotal evidence - I've been told by Japanese people I know that Ichiro's height of fame in Japan was 1999-2000 and now he's kind of old news, like SMAP or GLAY. Then again I know too many people who spend all of their time writing essays on the greatness or crapiness of Haruhi Suzumiya. So what.

Anyhow, $20 million a year for a guy with too much of his value tied up in his speed, from years 34-39, a few days shy of 40, is a bad idea to me.

But we're not giving stolen bases enough credit, right? So how about we use secondary average, which fully credits base stealing and caught stealing?

Ichiro is 112th in SecA this year.

He was 120th in SecA in 2006.

He was 106th in SecA in 2005.

Yet he's now being paid like a Top 5 producer. Which he isn't.

Here's what I don't like - most the supproting arguments for this contract being a good are emotional, while most of the detracting ones are factual.

Factually speaking, Ichiro is not a Top 5 producer. Factually speaking, no matter how you measure production, he comes up lacking for $20 million a year. That is, unless you live in a cave, hunt wooly mammoths, make fire with by banging two rocks together, and think "hits" is a great statistic.

But we can all disagree and be friendly about it.

Many more deals like this and even that crap Alfonso Soriano deal will look good. Wow. I can't get over it. All of a sudden, Gary Matthews Jr. contract looking great.


We pay for the entertainment of seeing these players…
That money is enough to pay them what they are making…
The players ‘should’ be the ones getting what we are paying since they are the ones we pay to see…
That means salaries like we have…
Makes sense to me.

… And although I agree in a perfect world that they really shouldn’t be paid what they are, they are paid what we as entertainment seekers are wiling to have them paid. Again, if we give enough money to pay um that, they should get it… Wouldn’t you rather it spent on the players than going into the owners pockets? If the money is there, it should be theirs… I hate them being paid that, but I support it just the same when I pay for tickets.

Ichiro is a slap hitting, no power, overrated centerfielder.

The idea he is somehow worth $20m/year for the next five years is insane.

And Ichiro as surefire HOFer? Please. The only thing he really has going for him is the Japanese factor. Unless he plays at his current level for severak more years he won't have the career stats to justify inclusion.

Ichiro is the best defensive OF in the game.

Lead off hitters (Pierre, Ichiro) with preimium defense are paid big becuz they fill 2 key pieces to winning a championship.

A great lead off hitter can carry ur offense more so than any other type of hitter other than a true #3 or #4 hitter.

Prime defense in CF is crucial to being succesful.

This is why there is a premium on these types of guys.

You can't compare them to other types of players.

Baseball is a multibillion dollar business. They are LIGHT years ahead of u dorks.

The market competes hard for these guys becuz of the importance of their skill set to winning.

And stop talking about how much these guys get paid.

These teams have armies of rocket scientists who make sure baseball is massively profitable.

The past 2 years have seen record profits for baseball, THATS why these guys are paid huge.

They deserve every penny cuz that's what they produce.

You want to cry about overpaid people?

Go do some research and see what CEOs are getting paid out simply for failing at their jobs.

If you have a 401K or do any tpye of investment, these CEOs are reaching right into your pocket and taking money from you.

Leave the baseball players alone. They are the ones giving you guys a reason to think you have a clue about something when in reality most of u are jus a bunhc of monkeys.

Using "u" and "ur" is a sure way to conceed the intellectual high ground in an argument....

I thought it was claiming Pierre is a lead off hitter with premium defense.

Makes me sick... Ichiro's prime years is well behind him, as he is in his 30s. He might not ever have 200 hits again and they sign him 5 yrs 100 mil... If he can get 100 mil, Andruw Jones will get 150 mil. And God only knows what Rowand and Hunter will get when they become a free agent....

"I thought it was claiming Pierre is a lead off hitter with premium defense."

I should have calrified....

Pierre doesn't fit this mold RIGHT NOW, but the potential is there.

His defense due to his range is better than most, altho his arm is lacking.

In CF, range is more important.

Anyways, he isnt a top tier option which is why he gets 10 mil per.

Ichiro, who does fit the profile will make 20.

Thats why ichiro makes more.

Overall, there is a premium for speedy CFs who can steal bases and have great range.

If ur the best, u make 20 like ichiro.

If ur not the best, you make 10 like pierre.

It's all relative.

Ther are certain fundamentals u need to succeed before u worry about anything else:

1) Good Defense up the middle.

2) Durable, consistent quality pitching or massive depth.

3) A speedy leadoff guy who can turn a walk and a single into a run scored.

These things are the most important factors to winning.

You don't have to be the best in all facets, but u have to be amongst the best.

PLayers that address these needs will always get a premium.

U have to assess contracts relative to their peers.

To make blanket statements like they don't deserve the money without looking at factors like marketability, scarcity, supply and demand, and importance to winning is asinine and only makes u look foolish.

Please stop


Like u r


If Ichiro didn't play premium CF defense, I wouldn't like the deal. Part of the prob with Juan Pierre. DentalPlan, you can't ignore CF defense. It is of great importance. Plus, OPS is especially misleading here since much of Ichiro's value is tied to his OBP and not SLG. Since OBP is much more important than SLG, OPS is misleading.

Current Lifetime .OPS stats

Rollins .763
Damon .784
Soriano .840
Reyes .762 (small sample)
Pierre .721
GMJ .757

Suzuki .818

Name one team that wouldn't want him. Hard to find a better leadoff hitter. And one that will play atleast 157 games a year, and be pissed about missing the other 5.

I think he'd have the most impact on the White Sox.

"Sorry, New York. Find a different HOF leadoff bat."

Thanks, I think were good in that area.

I found it interesting listening to Jim Leylan last night, he said during batting practice no player was hitting bombs out of the ballpark with greater regularity then Ichiro. I can see why people say he isnt worth it, mostly because of his age. If i was sure that Ichiro would have 5 seasons like his last 5, I would pay him this contract. He is an amazing leadoff hitter, his walks may not be enough but his .340 average every year makes that easier to deal with. Might not be the best centerfielder, but he is tremendous with a tremendous arm and tremendous range. Ichiro is completely capable of hitting 25 homeruns a year if he felt like it. As has been mentioned, the gigantic sums of money he brings in from the Asian market. There is not a better hitter IMO, in all of baseball, when it comes to just finding a way to get a hit. He is needed to patrol that huge outfield. It is completely understandable why some people say he is not worth it, but if I was an M's fan, I would be pretty excited, thats just me.

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