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Yankees make it official with Ichiro

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 19, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have announced their two-year deal with Ichiro Suzuki. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, they’ve designated RHP Jim Miller for assignment. Here’s the announcement. 

The New York Yankees today announced they have re-signed 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year contract.

Suzuki, 39, was acquired by the Yankees from Seattle on July 23, 2012, along with cash considerations in exchange for right-handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. In 67 games with the Yankees, Suzuki batted .322 (73-for-227) with 28 runs, 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 27 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Of his 56 starts with the Yankees, 26 were in left field, 24 in right field, five in center field and one was as the designated hitter. Prior to the 2012 season, he had made just one career start in left field (2001 ALCS Game 5 with Seattle at the Yankees).

“The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of,” Suzuki said. “Everyone in the world of competition has a strong desire to win, but the Yankees also have an atmosphere where losing is not an option. These two observations may sound similar, but I believe it is a rarity to find both coexisting in the same organization.

“I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference between a 39 year old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39 year old who has prepared, practiced, and thought thoroughly through many experiences for their craft. I am very thankful, and I will do my best to deliver on their expectations.”

Suzuki hit safely in each of his first 12 games with the Yankees, tying Don Slaught (1988) for the longest hitting streak to begin a Yankees career. Suzuki hit five homers with the Yankees — all at Yankee Stadium — after hitting just four home runs in 95 games to start the year with Seattle. Overall in 2012, Suzuki batted .283 (178-for-629) with 77 runs, 28 doubles, six triples, nine home runs, 55 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 162 games with the Mariners and the Yankees.

Suzuki, a left-handed hitter who throws with his right hand, owns a .322 (2,606-for-8,085) career batting average with 1,204 runs, 308 doubles, 80 triples, 104 home runs, 660 RBI, 452 stolen bases, 518 walks and a .365 on-base percentage in 1,911 games. Among active players, he ranks second in steals behind only Juan Pierre (591), third in batting average (min: 3,000PA) and fourth in hits. His 2,606 career hits are the most by any player through his first 12 Major League seasons and are 310 more than any other Major Leaguer has totaled since Suzuki’s debut in 2001.

He has recorded at least 150 hits in each of his first 12 Major League seasons, joining Paul Waner (first 14 straight from 1926-39), Richie Ashburn (first 13 from 1948-60) and Albert Pujols (first 12 from 2001-12) as the only players to accomplish the feat in the Live Ball Era. Additionally, Suzuki has stolen at least 20 bases in each of his 12 Major League seasons, joining Rickey Henderson (first 23 seasons) and Ozzie Smith (first 16 seasons) as the only players with streaks as long from the beginning of their careers.

Suzuki has played in a Major League-high 1,911 games since 2001 and appeared in at least 155 games in 11 different seasons, tying for the fifth-most such seasons all time. The only Major Leaguers with more 155-game seasons are Cal Ripken (15), Pete Rose (15), Eddie Murray (12) and Billy Williams (12). Suzuki has made 1,845 starts as an outfielder (1,549 in RF, 270 in CF and 26 in LF) and owns a career fielding percentage of .992 with just 33 errors in 4,284 total chances.

A two-time AL batting champion (.350 in 2001 and .372 in 2004), Suzuki has led or tied for the Major League lead in hits seven times (2001, ’04, ‘06-10), tying Pete Rose and Ty Cobb for the most such seasons all time. Additionally, he is the only player in Major League history to accomplish the feat in five consecutive years. From his debut season through 2010, he finished first or second in the AL in hits every year, and in 2011, he finished ninth.

Prior to playing in the Majors, Suzuki played for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan’s Pacific League for nine seasons (1992-2000) and was named the league’s MVP three times (1994-96). In 951 career games with Orix, he hit .353 (1,278-for-3,619) with 653 runs, 211 doubles, 23 triples, 118 home runs, 529 RBI and 199 stolen bases. Suzuki led the league in batting average for a Japanese-record seven straight years (1994-2000), while also winning a Gold Glove Award and being named to the Pacific League’s “Best Nine” in each of those seven seasons.

Suzuki is one of six Japan-born players in Yankees franchise history, joining Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09), Kei Igawa (2007-08), Hiroki Kuroda (2012) and Ryota Igarashi (2012).

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated RHP Jim Miller for assignment.

Associated Press photo

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45 Responses to “Yankees make it official with Ichiro”

  1. blake December 19th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    @Buster_ESPN: Total speculation: Justin Smoak would be an interesting option for the Baltimore Orioles. Some folks there like his swing.

  2. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Welcome back Ichiro – - – -

  3. DJ55 December 19th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    The worst.

  4. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Yay Ichiro!! I just love that sly little smile and the story about how he behaves before every All Star game is the stuff of legends…also, who doesn’t love a guy that readily admits he’d rather punch himself in the face than say he’s happy to be in Cleveland, OH?

    Anyway, you know what I love about the Mariners?? They’re being crafty.. If I’m Compass, I’m pretty happy right now. Nothing like having some options.

    Not sure what they could get for Smoak.. I remember some talk about him getting his swing in order in the second half but I spend too much time over-analyzing the Yanks to bother doing it with players on other teams.

  5. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I’m still waiting for the Orioles to make a move of some sort… not sure if it will be anything headline grabbing but we shall see.

  6. blake December 19th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    @YankeesWFAN: “The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of,” Suzuki said. 2 yr, $13M deal official. #ichiro

  7. tomingeorgia December 19th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    G. Love,
    I tried to respond to you earlier but apparently the gerbils powering my internet died. I come here for opinions from those who have, or purport to, have greater knowledge than I do about prospects and trade targets. I said in my last post that I am in awe of those who know all, and and, and are willing to post it. I’ve been watching the Yanks for better than 60 years, and I guess I;ll stay a fan. As I said, I’m in awe of Yankee fandom,, so do you mind if I stick around?

  8. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    ?@DKnobler

    Dodgers, Red Sox both talking Hanrahan with Pirates. http://cbsprt.co/REUkKV

    —-

    The Sox will find a way to get him for nothing and the Dodgers will sign Soriano.. and Valverde will be somewhere out there, pointing at the sky.

  9. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    blake December 19th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    @YankeesWFAN: “The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of,” Suzuki said. 2 yr, $13M deal official. #ichiro

    ————-

    LOL.. poor Mariners fans :lol:

    But I do love Ichiro. I’m really happy to have him back.. that one play when we lost that playoff game where he gymnasticked his way around the catcher at the plate was exactly the reason. Guy is a gamer.

    We do need another solid OFer though.. you can’t rely on 162 games of Gardner, Granderson, and Ichiro. Please make a play for Hariston or Ross. Don’t just go with Ibanez.

  10. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS

    #redsox, #dodgers talking to #pirates about hanrahan. dodgers also eye chris perez, parnell, etc. http://cbsprt.co/REUkKV

  11. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I think the Ibanez interest is strictly for DH vs rhp, and the only way he gets into the outfield is if the righthanded 4th OF can’t hit rhp at all (and rhh usually don’t have as big of a platoon split as lhh).

  12. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 7:20 pm
    I think the Ibanez interest is strictly for DH vs rhp, and the only way he gets into the outfield is if the righthanded 4th OF can’t hit rhp at all (and rhh usually don’t have as big of a platoon split as lhh).

    Meant if there is an injury of course.

  13. PRDENTIST December 19th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    If you add both the Japan years and the MLB years, he has been playing for over 20 years. WOW..
    ps. Before you all jump all over me, I know it’s not the same.

  14. Nick in SF December 19th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Smoak was sent DOWN to AAA Tacoma but came back UP to Seattle in time to hit OVER 16 hoke runs, as opposed to another young Mariner who stayed UP in Seattle for the whole year but still hit UNDER 19.5 home runs.

    Not that I was paying attention or anything. :cry:

  15. Nick in SF December 19th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    (Smoak’s OPS was .654 and his OPS+ was 87. I don’t think those are considered very good)

  16. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Interesting random home run numbers, Nick.

  17. UnKnown December 19th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    77% of the votes say they would rather have Ichiro in 2013 over Swisher. I would have to disagree with that. However, right now budget wise Ichiro is a better fit over Swisher I guess.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-yo.....vs-swisher

  18. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Nick in SF December 19th, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    Smoak was sent DOWN to AAA Tacoma but came back UP to Seattle in time to hit OVER 16 hoke runs, as opposed to another young Mariner who stayed UP in Seattle for the whole year but still hit UNDER 19.5 home runs.

    ******

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD6lN9FEHao

  19. UnKnown December 19th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Morales vs Vargas seems like a huge win for the M’s.

    I guess Vargas slots immediately into the #3 spot in the Angels rotation so maybe it was worth making the deal.

    Pitching is really were the Halos are going to come up short this year.

  20. Nick in SF December 19th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Not completely random if you scroll down a few comments, but I can increase my posting of truly random things if they interest you.

    Here’s one: “Big Day Coming” by Jesse Jarnow is the finest book about the great indie rock band Yo La Tengo that you’ll read all year and I give it my full endorsement. A great read to get psyched up for YLT’s new album, due January 16th.

  21. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    PRDENTIST December 19th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    If you add both the Japan years and the MLB years, he has been playing for over 20 years. WOW..
    ps. Before you all jump all over me, I know it’s not the same.

    ——————–

    Our reputation precedes us.

    Well done, everyone!

  22. blake December 19th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    @DanBarbarisi: Ichiro with a great quote on his age as he re-signs: “I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference (cont)”

    @DanBarbarisi: “between a 39 year old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39 year old who has prepared, practiced, and thought thoroughly (Cont)”

    @DanBarbarisi: …through many experiences for their craft. I am very thankful, and I will do my best to deliver on their expectations.” Love that guy.

    I do like ichiro

  23. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    @FeinsandNYDN

    Nick Swisher has 2 offers on the table; at least 3-4 more teams still in the mix. Teams don’t appear hesitant about losing the draft pick.

  24. yankee21 December 19th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Always been an Ichiro fan. Not a big fan though of two years, but it is what it is.

  25. blake December 19th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I hope Ichiro gets 3,000 as a Yankee cause that’d be cool and also because if he gets nearly 400 hits over the next 2 seasons then that means it was a great contract

  26. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    We all knew Ichiro would be back after he waxed poetics (zing!) about talking about the New York Yankees on his death bed lol.

  27. yankee21 December 19th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I hope Ichiro gets 3,000 as a Yankee cause that’d be cool and also because if he gets nearly 400 hits over the next 2 seasons then that means it was a great contract…

    I’d be happy with 360 hits from over the next two seasons, though the Yankees counting on the promotional pull of getting to 3000 may not.

  28. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    blake December 19th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I hope Ichiro gets 3,000 as a Yankee cause that’d be cool and also because if he gets nearly 400 hits over the next 2 seasons then that means it was a great contract

    ——————-

    Yeah that would be awesome.. hoping that whole resurgence thing continues and we see him get there. Arod would be there soon too right? I don’t remember the exact number but I think he’s closer than Ichiro.

  29. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Nick, I did get it.

    We can know Ichiro will do all in his power to be his best. He sure doesn’t look like he has lost flexibility. :)

  30. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    @Ken_Rosenthal

    Sources: #Indians in talks with EJax as well as Swisher. Probably cannot sign both. #Cubs also strong on EJax. Should get at least 4 years.

  31. Jerkface December 19th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    The yankee team working on a budget probably shouldnt tie up 2 years worth oft salary on a 40 year old ichiro. A yankees team spending like the yankees are supposed to should sign as many ichiros as possible. So overall I’m happy.

  32. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS

    heard edwin jackson bidding was up to 4 yrs. believed close to $50M. @Ken_Rosenthal adds tribe as team in derby. #ejax

  33. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    And Hughes smiles. Okay Phil, show us this year.

  34. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    hahahaha, jackson 4 years?

    somebody’s got better smoke than i do….

  35. blake December 19th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    4/50 is kinda steep for EJax but that’s where the market is…..

  36. blake December 19th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    You’re probably getting Jackson’s prime on a 4 year deal though….

  37. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    “that’s what the market is” doesnt make it a good move. that’s just a stupid offer.

  38. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    what happened to the nets, they looked pretty good about a month ago now they look like team that could miss the playoffs.

  39. blake December 19th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Ys Guy says:
    December 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm
    “that’s what the market is” doesnt make it a good move. that’s just a stupid offer.

    Depends on the team and what they want him for …..that is a little steep though

  40. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    melo and chandler are a perfect fit. amare started practicing yesterday

  41. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    thats a good point blake. if he’s the ‘missing piece’ as in the #4 or 5 who you think solidifies your rotation and you can contend, i can’t criticize that.

    innings do count for something and are often overlooked. jackson has averaged right around 200 innings for the last 5 seasons which really helps the bp.

    still…4 years?

  42. blake December 19th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I don’t think Jackson makes any sense at all for the Indians or Cubs….those teams aren’t close and it just doesn’t make much sense to sink that kind of money just for Innings…..he makes more sense for the Rangers as a 4th starter to me….

  43. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    i havent actually heard any of the rumors i just assumed it was the rangers or the angles or some pretender like the red socks.

  44. charlestonchew December 19th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    This post just proved to me that Ichiro is a Hall of Famer even if he retired today.

  45. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    there was a time where if you dropped a bomb on the RS someone would get in your face.

    probably pete…

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