Ichiro Suzuki Signs 2-Year Deal with New York Yankees

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

Ichiro Suzuki and the New York Yankees have reportedly agreed to terms on a new two-year, $13 million deal that will keep the former American League MVP in the Bronx, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:

#yankees have deal with ichiro. 2 yrs, likely $13M

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 14, 2012


UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 6:31 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

It is official. Ichiro has inked a deal to stay in New York for two more seasons. MLB tweeted the news:

OFFICIAL: @yankees re-sign OF Ichiro Suzuki to 2-year contract.

— MLB (@MLB) December 19, 2012


UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 6:15 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

Apparently, all that remains before this deal is official is a pending physical. Heyman shared the news:

Ichiro $13M 2-yr deal with #yankees all done, pending physical

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 19, 2012

There is nothing to suggest that Ichiro won't pass his physical. 

---End of Update---


Heyman also reported that the Yankees weren't the only club to make a run at the future Hall of Famer:

Ichiro turned down 2 offers for more $ before agreeing to #tanks deal for $13M

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 14, 2012


The Yankees acquired Ichiro from Seattle on July 23. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career there and made 10 All-Star teams.

The Mariners decided that it would be in their best interest to move on from their most popular player without having to deal with the media headache of letting him walk away in free agency. 

Ichiro was having the worst offensive season of his career before the trade. In 95 games with the Mariners in 2012, he was hitting .261/.288/.353 with an OPS+ of 84 (via Baseball-Reference), with 100 being average.

After the trade, Ichiro found the friendly hitting confines of Yankee Stadium to his liking. He hit .322/.340/.454 in 67 games with the Yankees, including five home runs. His .794 OPS with the Yankees would have been his highest in a season since 2009. 

The one thing that was never in doubt for Ichiro, even as he approaches age 40, is his glove. He remains one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball. He had a UZR of 12.7 and saved 11 runs, primarily as a right fielder last season (via Fangraphs).

With the Yankees needing a right fielder due to the likely departure of Nick Swisher, Ichiro makes a nice fallback plan. He is not going to cost them a lot of money and should have no problem providing at least two to 2.5 wins this season.