It has been a question most Yankees have asked themselves at least once over the past few months. Should the Yankees re-sign Ichiro Suzuki for another season? With his current hot streak, the question seems to be a much more interesting topic. With 2 more hits in yesterday’s 8-2 win over the Twins, Ichiro only continues to get hotter.
With Nick Swisher most likely seeking a big free agent contract this upcoming offseason and with the Yankees wanting to sign both Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano to long term deals, Ichiro would be a nice option to play right field in 2013. Ichiro is no longer the superstar he was years ago, so it would a safe assumption to say he would not be looking for a massive contract. Add the fact that the Yankees want to shed the payroll to $189 million by 2014, a one year contract would make the most sense, until they can find a suitable replacement for the future.
Ichiro’s numbers were on the decline over the past year and a half in Seattle, and the move to New York has seemingly revitalized the 38 year old outfielder. Since being acquired by New York on July 23rd, Ichiro has posted 64 hits in 60 games along with a .328 batting average, and an on base percentage of .351. Ichiro is also second on the team with 12 stolen bases, trailing Alex Rodriguez (13) giving the Yankees the speed element they were clearly lacking with Brett Gardner being injured.
Also, Ichiro seems to enjoy playing in Yankee Stadium, as he has already hit five home runs, one more than his total in 95 games with the Mariners this season, while driving in 23 runs, just five back of his total in Seattle. Then there is the topic of defense. Ichiro is known for having a strong arm and a very reliable glove. In his 64 games as a Yankee, he has yet to commit an error. If Ichiro is to return, you’d figure that as long as Brett Gardner is healthy, his spot in left field is secured. Curtis Granderson would still be out in center, and Ichiro in right field would give the Yankees a huge speed advantage in their outfield.
One last element that could sway the Yankees in Ichiro’s direction is the fanfare. The Bronx faithful quickly learned to love Ichiro in pinstripes as he made the transition from Mariner to Yankee with ease. Not only that, but, even at his age of 38, Ichiro is still an international phenomenon, his loyal fans from Japan always relish the chance to see their hero play baseball, and that means a lot of ticket sales.
So, as long as Ichiro continues to hit, the Yankees should continue to consider bringing him back for another season. Would you like to see Ichiro back in pinstripes in 2013?
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