Seattle Mariners: Keeping Ichiro Suzuki Around for the Near Future Makes Sense

Zak SchmollAnalyst IJuly 16, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 07:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners steals second base in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 7, 2012 in Oakland, California. Suzuki scored later in the inning.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners are looking to keep Ichiro Suzuki around past the trade deadline, and they are also hoping to bring him back for 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.

For some reason, that doesn't surprise me at all even though Ichiro has had a very difficult campaign.

This season, he is hitting .260 with four home runs, 27 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Unfortunately, he seems to be suffering from the fate that most speedsters eventually succumb to. Because he is getting  older and has slowed down a little bit, what used to be infield hits are now groundouts.

When you combine that with the fact that he has never taken many walks, you begin to see why he is having trouble getting on base.

All of that being said, the Seattle Mariners need to bring him back at the end of the season even though his skills are declining.

Ichiro is the only connection to when the Mariners were a highly competitive franchise. In his rookie season, he won the MVP, the Rookie of the Year and the Mariners won 116 games. In the two seasons after that, they won 93 games apiece but have only been over .500 one time since.

Through all of these ups and downs, Ichiro has been there, and the fans have obviously become attached. I'm not only talking about American fans. He has become the most successful player to ever come to Major League Baseball from Japan.

Even though he is beginning to slow down, keeping him around will preserve that team pride. They need a link to when they were good to help the Mariners try to get to that level again.

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