Maybe it’s just me, but I never knew why people were opposed to the New York Yankees re-signing Ichiro Suzuki for two years. Surely it isn’t because of the “decreasing” value he’ll bring in 2013 and 2014 that seems to be the general opinion, right? Okay, so maybe Suzuki won’t get 200 or more hits, but come on, what he offers goes way beyond that. He’s one of, if not the best pure contact hitter in the game since 2001 and he’s a perfect fit with the Yankees who forgot how to simply hit the ball. Not to mention, Suzuki is still a solid fielder and now has found a permanent job in right field. What’s not to like about this deal?
As was discussed before, Ichiro had an incredible 2012 with the Yankees. His numbers with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 were very lackluster for a player of his caliber and the change of scenery threw that mess away. Suzuki clears up some, but not all of the muddy waters that the Yankees will face in the coming years. Instead of re-signing Nick Swisher for a four or five-year deal worth upward of $40 or so million, the Yankees went the smart and economical route. Bravo Brian Cashman, bravo.
Also, what his bat proves is guaranteed production in the lineup. Ichiro can lead off, can hit last or just about anywhere. His speed also is something that is a huge factor to his ability to not only steal bases and get into scoring position, but in the outfield to track down fly balls. A lot of people thought Suzuki didn’t warrant a multiyear deal, but I don’t see why people would think that. He’s the type of player that New York needs; he’s someone that can provide a solid job day in, day out.
Ichiro was offered a contract, which had more money on it, from the Philadelphia Phillies, but he declined it to come back to New York. Maybe it’s the fact that he wants a World Series ring badly, or that he loves NYC, but in the end, we’re more than glad to have him back.
The Yankees benefit from re-signing Suzuki in many ways. He’s a low-cost, high-talent player that obviously wants to be with the team. He’s versatile not only in the field, but in the lineup as well. Seriously, I’ll pose the question again, what’s not to like about him? Ichiro was a monster offensively in pinstripes and even more so in Yankee Stadium — his OPS+ of 114 can back that up. He had an incredible slash line of .338/.363/.531 at Yankee Stadium and even stole 11 bases. He was an absolute monster with the bat.
So, what do you think? Was he worth re-signing for two-years/$13 million? I think so. You know what you’re getting with Suzuki, so what’s there to complain about? He’s a great fit for this team and clearly thrives in the environment. From what we saw out of him this year, he’s one of the few with a consistent bat, so that in my mind, makes that deal all the more genius. Here’s to Ichiro in 2013 with a hopeful first World Series victory at the end of it all.