Ichiro Intends To Play “Many” Seasons After 2014

Ichiro Suzuki is entering the last year of his contract with the Yankees and, though he turns 41 years old in October, the outfielder tells ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews that he plans to play "not just a few" but "many" seasons past the 2014 campaign.  “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about….For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now," Suzuki said.

Suzuki has hit just .273/.305/.356 in 1939 PA over the last three seasons, missing only 13 games during that stretch though he is no longer producing like an everyday player.  His playing time will be drastically reduced this season given that the Yankees have Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano slated for the regular outfield and DH positions, respectively. 

While Suzuki says “there’s no reason for me not to play every day" and is physically preparing himself for a full 162 games, he admits that "when I first signed here I knew what I was getting into.  I knew every year there would be changes and things would happen that maybe we can’t control."

I don’t know how I’m going to feel once the season starts.  I don’t know what it’s going to be like. But right now, it doesn’t change the way I prepare myself throughout the spring."

Despite his decline at the plate, Suzuki still brings a lot of value as a backup, if not as a starter.  He has provided excellent right field defense (UZR/150 scores of +16 and +17.8 in 2012 and 2013, respectively) as a Yankee and is still a stolen base threat, not to mention his durability.  Suzuki is 258 hits away from the 3000-hit plateau and only 236 hits away from a symbolic tie with Pete Rose's record 4256 hits (though, of course, 1278 of Suzuki's hits came in Japan).


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95 Comments on "Ichiro Intends To Play “Many” Seasons After 2014"


MB923
1 year 5 months ago

I think he signs a 1 year deal next year with the Mariners and that ends his MLB career, then he’ll end up playing in Japan. I just can’t picture any team wanting him as he, like pretty much everyone in their late 30’s and 40’s, is declining heavily.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

He’s not coming back to Seattle until it’s time to retire his #.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

You don’t know that. For the record, Ichiro’s WAR last year was higher than every Mariner OFer not named Michael Saunders (who barely beat him, 1.2 to 1.1) and it was also higher than the newly acquired Logan Morrison and Willie Bloomquist (though Bloomquist saw less playing time. However his career WAR is a very terrible 1.4)

If Ichiro was on the Mariners, he’s probably their starting OFer.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

I can see the M’s breaking camp with Ackley, Almonte and Saunders in the OF. Hart will move to DH and Morrison has to beat out Smoak at 1B or go to Tacoma. Morrison has an option. I think that’s part of the thinking behind why Morales isn’t in Seattle.
Saunders has a huge -ve WAR in CF and so does Ackley, thus the poor WAR. Almonte put up .1 WAR in 25 games.
The M’s have some very nice bats in the minors ready to come up in the next two years also in Jabari Blash, Julio Morban and James Jones, big kids with tons of power and lots of speed.
There is no room for Mr. Suzuki.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Wouldn’t hurt to sign him as a bench OFer next year. I doubt all the guys you mentioned (I admit I never heard of any of them) will all be in the bigs next year

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Suzuki should never be a bench player in Seattle. That would ruin his legacy. He’s a LH bat with no pop. I want a real LH bat with pop on the bench. Stephen Romero can be the RH bench/OF bat. There is a kid in Tacoma, Nate Tenbrink, who can play about every position and hits LHd. Romero and Tenbrink have speed, power and can play multiple positions. Excellent choices for the bench for Seattle by next year, if not this year.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

I completely disagree (about it ruining his legacy). He’s 40 and his stats are in heavy decline so he’s all but limited to a bench role

It didn’t ruin Jason Varitek or Jorge Posada’s legacies when they were no longer the starting catchers on the Red Sox and Yankees (not that either of the 2 or HOFers like Ichiro, but good chance their numbers get retired by the only 2 teams each of them played for)

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

We had to deal with Suzuki in Seattle long enough. We had to put up with Jr coming back one year too long. We’ve had to deal with bad baseball clubs for far too long. There are more important decisions to be made. This team needs to make the playoffs and win. Suzuki isn’t the answer. There are too many better internal options even at this point.There are too many young kids that can contribute in more ways than a part time OF bat with little more than defense and base running skills. If Suzuki wants to come back as a bullpen arm, I could go for that.

DMoney1184
1 year 5 months ago

Seattle also thought they had “a ton of bats” highlighted by Ackely, Montero and Smoak. How did that work out?

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Seattle had no MLB talent so they had to rush kids. They have rushed Ackley, Seager, Miller, Smoak, Montero, Franklin, Zunino, etc… Imagine making a 22 year old hit 4th in your lineup while learning how to catch and handle a pitching staff because that’s all you have. Smoak OPSd over .800 as a lefty last year so he’s not totally awful. He may just need to be platooned with Hart. Ackley OPSd over .800 last year after spending a month in Tacoma. Howard Johnson turned him around and now is the hitting coach in Seattle. Give him a year with Ackley before we call him a bust.
With a bat like Cano carrying the load, the kids can just try to play, not carry the team.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Seattle had no MLB talent so they had to rush kids. They have rushed Ackley, Seager, Miller, Smoak, Montero, Franklin, Zunino, etc… Imagine making a 22 year old hit 4th in your lineup while learning how to catch and handle a pitching staff because that’s all you have. Smoak OPSd over .800 as a lefty last year so he’s not totally awful. He may just need to be platooned with Hart. Ackley OPSd over .800 last year after spending a month in Tacoma. Howard Johnson turned him around and now is the hitting coach in Seattle. Give him a year with Ackley before we call him a bust.
With a bat like Cano carrying the load, the kids can just try to play, not carry the team.

OUTFOXEM
1 year 5 months ago

You mean until it’s time to retire Randy Johnson’s number…

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

He’s in good shape so yeah I could see him returning to the NPB in 2016.

John Cate
1 year 5 months ago

“like pretty much everyone in their late 30’s and 40’s, is declining heavily”

Big Papi is on line two…

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

I said “pretty much everyone” Not everyone. I guess I should have said like most others. And Big Papi is not like most others

Also , Big Papi is a DH. Not an OFer. Not a great comparison

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Where does Suzuki get traded to?

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

The Yankees do not have a lot of depth so he’s probably staying there for the eventual Jacoby Ellsbury injury.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Ellsbury and Beltran both have injury history. Oh, how many games has Gardner missed in the last 3 years. Quick twitch guy with a lot of injury potential.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

In the last 3 years, Beltran is 17th among OFers in games played. Ahead of names like BJ Upton, Andre Ethier, Nick Markakis, former teammate Matt Holliday, Josh Hamilton, Austin Jackson, Jose Bautista, Jayson Heyward, and Giancarlo Stanton.

He’s played in 142 games or more the past 3 years. I’m not concerned about Beltran

You can’t predict injuries.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Fair enough. It will certainly help if they can get him some games at DH, too. I like Beltran.

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

He has dropped off quite a bit in the second half each of the last two seasons. I think if you DH him 2-3 times a week, he could stay stronger into late in the season. Not to mention, the stadium is a good fit for him. I think Beltran could have a big year.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Their plan is likely to have him split RF and DH with Soriano.

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

He has dropped off quite a bit in the second half each of the last two seasons. I think if you DH him 2-3 times a week, he could stay stronger into late in the season. Not to mention, the stadium is a good fit for him. I think Beltran could have a big year.

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

I think between Ellsbury, Gardner, and Beltran you can probably count on at least one (or a combo of the three) missing significant time. I understand Beltran has been relatively issue free and Ellsbury’s injuries were circumstantial but when all 3 OF have an injury history it just becomes a numbers game.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Fair enough, but they can also get “lucky” and have all injury prone players stay injury free for the most part much like the Boston Red Sox 2013 players did last year

For instance, here’s Red Sox players last year. I’ll list Games played in 2012 followed by 2013

Ellsbury – 74/134
Ortiz – 90/134
Napoli – 108/139
Drew – 79/124
Pedroia – 141/160 (141 is a lot though but still, that’s about a month worth of missing the season).
Gomes – 99/116
Nava – 88/134

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

Oh yea, I mean anything can happen…and there’s nothing that really jumps out at you saying they are definitely going to get injured. It’s not like Grady Sizemore is in that outfield…but the fact that all 3 of them have injury history and that Ichiro can play all 3 OF spots kind of makes it so that I would assume he will get playing time eventually.

Also, kind of an off the wall idea…I had heard that the Cardinals toyed with the idea of Beltran transitioning to 1st. I wonder if that has crossed the Yankees’ mind in case Teixeira gets hurt. That could also free up a spot

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Probably Kelly Johnson to 1st in that scenario and Dean Anna plays as a utility infielder if his bat remains hot.

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

What about McCann? It seems that the Yankees have a lot more depth now at catcher than they do at 2B/SS/3B, especially if Jeter goes down. I still think JR Murphy could potentially be a starting catcher and Sanchez could be a midseason call up if he has a strong season (unlikely, but possible)

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Could happen too. I think Yanks move McCann to 1B once Tex’s contract is up in 3 years

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

The Yankees do have a lot of outfield depth. They have Ellsbury, Gardner, Soriano, Beltran, Ichiro, Almonte, etc. They actually have too many outfielders.

JacksTigers
1 year 5 months ago

Sorry, Ichiro. But there has to be a team that wants you for that to happen and besides maybe a minor league deal, I don’t see that happening after this year.

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

He said baseball, not Major League Baseball. Besides, you would be surprised. Ichiro is a revenue generator. His name probably has more value than anyone else in the MLB and that will probably be the case for a while. If not, I’m sure any team in the NPB would be more than happy to take him

Wrecky1
1 year 5 months ago

Was the source an Onion article?

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

My favorite Onion article of all time was an article in 2009 about the Phillies’ 364 day World Series drought. The quotes were phenominal

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

I dont get why its commonly accepted that we can use his Japanese league numbers with his MLB for cumulative stats. No doubt he would have put up similar MLB numbers in that span, and likely be a record holder in many categories….but thats not what happened. I dont see anyone talking about anyone elses minor league hits total in conjunction with their MLB. Why is this any different?

Mario Saavedra
1 year 5 months ago

Because Japanese players are forced to play a few years on Japan before they can play in MLB. I think the MLB-equivalent would be not to count the 6-years controlled by the first team on the MLB equivalent.

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

I understand its not his fault that he couldnt play here, but the fact is, he wasnt here. His numbers anywhere else are completely irrelevant in any cumulative fashion. Its unfortunate, but otherwise its apples to oranges.

1 year 5 months ago

I wouldn’t say they’re irrelevant. Given Ichiro’s seamless transition to MLB, his cumulative stats provide some insight into records he could’ve had a chance at.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 5 months ago

That is ridiculous. They’re completely irrelevant. If you follow that line of thinking, you could say something like “think of how much greater Dale Murphy COULD’VE been…if he just stayed healthy. Nothing matters from a stat perspective until you reach the show. It doesn’t matter where, what country, what limitations you may or may not have had, etc…

1 year 5 months ago

People do say things like “think of how much greater Dale Murphy COULD’VE been,” not that your examples matters much to the topic of Ichiro. What does it matter to you?

Ichiro’s NPB numbers provide speculation. You can follow that line of thinking wherever you want. Doesn’t necessarily make it irrelevant, depending on the argument you wish to make with that kind of speculation.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 5 months ago

Speculation is irrelevant dude. That’s my point.

1 year 5 months ago

Irrelevant to what? You’re in the comment section of a website that posts speculative articles multiple times a day.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 5 months ago

Irrelevant to your original point of the potential records he could’ve had.

1 year 5 months ago

That’s not entirely true. Ichiro maintained a high level of play throughout his 30s. His NPB stats provide the foundation for an argument, albeit a speculative one. Suggesting that Ichiro may be higher on the record lists using those numbers remains speculation, but it has some grounding.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 5 months ago

Fair enough I suppose.

OUTFOXEM
1 year 5 months ago

I find it funny when people say that we can’t count his NPB hits because it’s unfair to Pete Rose and everybody else. You know who it’s actually unfair to? Ichiro. They forget (or simply don’t know) that his numbers in Japan were achieved in 30 less games per season, which resulted in him having on average 170 less plate appearances per season in Japan.

Some quick back-of-a-napkin calculations tell me that Ichiro, in his shortened Japanese seasons, averaged 177 hits. From 2001-2011 — in the MLB we’re talking about — he averaged 221 hits, a difference of 44 hits per season. Yep, that’s right — if you add Ichiro’s NPB hits you are actually *robbing* Ichiro of the hits he would have gotten here in the US.

Oh, but here come the counter arguments:

“How do we know Ichiro would have done as well when he got to the MLB as he did in Japan?”

We know because he DID. No speculation needed there.

“But what about the Minor Leagues? Wouldn’t he have spent some time there? How do we know he would have been a starter when he was 20 like he was in Japan?”

It was the legendary 1994 Seattle Mariners. Anyone with a warm pulse makes the roster.

(It’s also worth noting that those inferior Japanese baseball players have two WBC championships, and the US has zero)

The bottom line is Ichiro tore the cover off the ball for the better part of two decades, regardless of what league he played in. To ignore 7 years of one of the greatest hitters of all time is ignorant at best.

DagGummit
1 year 5 months ago

Well… when it comes to HOF induction, that exact logic is indeed used. Look at guys like Kirby Puckett, Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax. They didn’t get in because of what they did do based on the typical count stats. Rather, they got in because it was clear and obvious that they were among the best for an established period and, if not for their unfairly shortened careers, were almost absolute locks to easily get the longevity-driven count stats they need.

The point isn’t that anyone and everyone should count his NPB numbers as equal to MLB. Rather, it should be taken into account, as RevMurph said, in conjunction with his transition and strong success in MLB after finally arriving.

I’ve been doubtful that he would last long enough to reach 3000 hits, but if he can get mostly full-time gigs for the next two years, he’s got a damn good shot. If he does reach it, I think he’s a lock and has an extremely good shot at getting in on the first ballot.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

True. To me it would be like allowing AA or AAA stats into the MLB accumulation. Granted, top
players generally don’t bank too many seasons of
top tier AAA stats because the make the jump to

MLB….but imagine the stat effect it might have on otherwise borderline hall of famers.

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

In this case we are comparing him to Pete Rose. If Ichiro has more “professional” hits (NPB and MLB) than Rose does (MiLB and MLB) then is it something worth talking about? I think that would be fair

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Interesting. I think you can certainly make a comp between Rose and Suzuki, even though I feel that Ichiros seasons in Japan were the equivalent of an extended AAA career. Hindsight and common sense say Ichiro would have put up stellar numbers if his career had begun in America. Moot point because it won’t effect his Hall odds anyway. Rose might not have broken Cobb’s record without being able to write his own name on the lineup card. His career virtually stalled after about 81

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

I think it’s just a perspective thing. It’s not like Major League Baseball is giving him official records. All of these counts are unofficial barometers to show how good he was, not actual official achievements

PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

You’re right, Ichiro probably would have had a lot more hits than he did had he played him MLB instead of Japan. He would have known MLB pitching earlier and probably bested his 262 hit season a couple times over.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

They shouldn’t be relevant to his MLB statistics, as in, adding them up and saying Ichiro has 4000 professional hits is meaningless. However, saying Ichiro has 2742 MLB hits and giving credit for not playing in MLB until his peak was in full swing is reasonable. He played in MLB during his peak and decline phase only, so giving him some vague amount of credit for not being able to play here until age-27 is reasonable, imo.

Michael
1 year 5 months ago

It’s like when the NBA tried to force feed ABA stats into the equation to glorify players who played in the ABA. Playing in Japan is probably, at best, the equivalent of AAA-ball. Not to mention, at just over half the size of Texas, a grueling road trip would be about 120 miles.

sourbob
1 year 5 months ago

I agree. Yeah, Ichiro probably could have produced in the majors had he been here, and that’s not his fault he wasn’t. But the Red Sox probably should have called up Wade Boggs at age 20, instead of leaving him to rot in the upper minors for four years because they didn’t think he could be productive without power. How many of his 537 hits from those years should we count then?

(Answer: zero. It’s a shame and all in both cases, but what you do in the majors should count toward your counting stats. Nothing else.)

DagGummit
1 year 5 months ago

As a fair criticism of the Boggs comparison, you have to remember that he didn’t exactly light up AA or AAA until that fourth year. Using current player analysis, he probably would have been moved up a year or two faster because of his plus-plus zone control and contact rates, but his complete and utter absence of even gap power would be a red flag even today. You’re talking about a guy who had >20 AB/XBH while being regarded as a horrible 3B. I would say he wouldn’t likely be called up at 20 or even 21 today. 22 is possible in an aggressive organization that liked his potential to grow and stick at the more demanding position, but more likely 23 after he started to destroy AAA even in most conservative organizations (unless he was horribly blocked).

Further, I don’t think anyone has actually argued that his NPB stats be counted as equal to his MLB ones. However, because of the context, that should be kept in mind and appropriately mentioned in a “what could have been” manner — just as is the case for any clearly HOF-caliber talent that had his career notably shortened for reasons beyond his control.

Jeffy25
1 year 5 months ago

Except you aren’t good anymore.

Kevin Siver
1 year 5 months ago

Sure, because his slash line the last three seasons is totally worse than so many outfielders that somehow miraculously find starting jobs. Yes his stats are pretty bad compared to the rest of his career, but they are still well above league average and if this is decline, I’ll take him anyday of the week.

Anthony Turreto
1 year 5 months ago

OPS+ would say otherwise. 86, 93, 75 over the last 3 seasons. All below league average. The only thing he has going for him still is his defense.

PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

Mark Kotsay had ONE season in his final EIGHT where he had a WAR over 0.0. Ichiro was at 1.1 last year which isnt terrible and actually pretty good for a bench player.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Yea but he wasn’t a bench player last year though.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

It’s still of value, though.

schellis
1 year 5 months ago

Rose should get to count his minor league stats if Suzuki gets to count his Japan stats. So once Suzuki gets to 4683 he can have his symbolic tie

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

I could see Ichiro as a 4th OF on a lot of clubs. He’s not going to get a multi-year deal or play everyday but does he still have value? Definitely.

Infield Fly
1 year 5 months ago

If he he does play several years more, much of it will probably be elsewhere.

Pei Kang
1 year 5 months ago

Does anyone else think Ichiro might be Hall of Fame worthy? If he hung on say, 3 more years…he could get his American hit total close to 3000. And if he somehow reaches that magic number, he’s in.

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

Hes in regardless in my book. 10 straight seasons with 200+ hits, and 10 straight seasons with a gold glove. If thats not elite, I dont know what is.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

10 straight seasons of 200+ hrs

BradyAnderson
1 year 5 months ago

Hes in regardless in my book. 10 straight seasons with 200+ hits, and 10 straight seasons with a gold glove. If thats not elite, I dont know what is.

JordanMantor
1 year 5 months ago

Craig Biggio says what?

PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

He already is though.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

He doesn’t need 3000.
He arrived in the United States at age 27 and still accrued around 54 WAR by both methods, an average of more than 4 a year from mid-peak through his decline phase.
He has lots of Gold Gloves and All Star appearances, ten consecutive 200+ hit seasons to open his MLB career, he was the Rookie of the Year and MVP the same year, has the single season hit record, and 2742 MLB hits. He’s the biggest name from Japan to have sustained MLB success. From an advanced statistical viewpoint only, 54 WAR from age 27 onward is borderline worthy as it is. Factor in Japanese success and numerous accolades and “fame” and you’ve got a Hall of Fame lock. It’s an overused narrative, but things other than statistics are supposed to be considered. Ichiro’s award resume and standing as the most successful Japanese player ever will help. He’s an all-peak candidate, and he’s had one heck of a peak. If he continues racking up filler seasons, he could approach the RF standard for career value too. As it is, he’s already firmly a Hall of Fame right fielder, a tough group to crack.

Ron Loreski
1 year 5 months ago

WAR does not get you into the HOF.

Pei Kang
1 year 5 months ago

hope you’re right. I always liked Ichiro, even if he ended up a Yankee….

rightwingrick
1 year 5 months ago

As a Mariner fan who watched Ichiro come into the American game, and who watched him play so many great years as a Mariner, I can say we’d LOVE to have him back as a veteran fourth outfielder, especially with his defensive capabilities, arm, and speed. It would be a great place to get that 3000th hit, but it might take this year as a Yankee and two as a fourth outfielder in Seattle. Tough to see that happening…..but it might.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

Offensive Jamie Moyer.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Moyer officially retired, sadly.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

I’m aware, he’s in the broadcast booth of the Phillies game I’m watching now. He could still carry on the similar concept of Moyer and play till his late 40’s

robbyrob
1 year 5 months ago

Most likely have to sign with Houston or Miami to get the playing time. Huge fan of his but his best days are behind him but still would like to see him get his 3000.

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

He would play in the AL.Probably a team that would take him on a low-risk high reward. (Houston, Tampa, LA Angels, Mariners, etc)

Ron Loreski
1 year 5 months ago

I could see him with the Tigers. Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter are free agents after this year. So there’s a DH and OF spot open in Detroit in 2015.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Sorry. I read the headline as “Ichiro Intends to Play Manny Seasons.” I just took it to mean he plans to get caught with PEDs 30 games in next season, followed
by an attempt to sell his grill on ebay before his eventual departure for the Dominican and Korea.

Dave Traverso
1 year 5 months ago

Cue the Amaro jokes

Matt Mccarron
1 year 5 months ago

Actually, there is no room or use for him. Amaro signed guys that filled holes.

Dave Traverso
1 year 5 months ago

Meant it as a sarcastic response to the overuse of “Amaro signs old vets” jokes that ALWAYS find their way to posts like these

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

Ichiro could find a starting job on some of the weaker teams in the MLB. He’s a unique player. A .262/.297/.342 line can get you a starting job somewhere. Usually the fact that he will be 41 makes teams hope they can get similar production from a prospect but Ichiro is very unique. Simply having him on your team drives revenue from the Japanese market. He will find a job somewhere if he wants it. The question is whether his pride will forbid him from doing so. In that case, he will probably go back to the NPB

Kevin Siver
1 year 5 months ago

Pretty much what I eluded to too and he’d be good for those prospects to learn from. Maybe in some kind of a stop-gap role.

Joe Valenti
1 year 5 months ago

Exactly, I could even see a team using him to lure the next Tanaka

Kevin Siver
1 year 5 months ago

Or maybe he can help coax an heir apparent to himself to come stateside, the next Ichiro so to speak. Not that players like that come along often obviously, but one can hope.

PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

I will say this, he certainly can still outproduce Mark Kotsay, who manages to find work despite being well-below replacement level the last 8 seasons.

PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

This guy!!! Love Ichiro so much haha, great quote from a 40+ year old…

Christopher A. Otto
1 year 5 months ago

Many seasons of MLB The Show?

John Cate
1 year 5 months ago

He may intend to play many more seasons, but he’s going to have to play them in Japan. He’s a fourth outfielder at best in the majors now. He can probably go back to NPB anytime and play until he’s 50 if he wants.

Koufax Holmes
1 year 5 months ago

If he can bat .270/.305/.356 with 25 SBs and exceptional outfield defense, his name alone will fill the gaps in his game and he will be worth rostering– especially to teams who have other Japanese talent to acclimate. His value this season is in being Tanaka’s friend.

Kevin Siver
1 year 5 months ago

Because if I’m a GM and I routinely bring in some shmuck that never delivers year after year as opposed to a proven player, that would make me a great one? I’d much rather give Ichiro a chance, besides he’d be a good veteran presence for younger players to learn from. Also, I don’t remember you being a GM either, so who are you to judge?