Elephant in the Room
Wears No. 51

Am I wrong, or isn't the unspoken premise of both the "Justin Upton" and "we need a veteran bat who can OPS .800" threads this:  Ichiro is toast.

In other words, aren't we admitting that Ichiro is not a veteran bat who can help?  Aren't we admitting that Ichiro is not a key part of the outfield going forward?

It sure looks that way.

We know this:  now that the dust has settled, Ichiro 2012 (.261/.288/.351) looks an awful lot like Ichiro 2011 (.272/.310/.335).

And we know this:  that ain't no everyday right fielder (emphasis on every) in major league baseball in any other town.

So ...

1. Do you let him twist in the wind and then just decline to sign him?

2. Do you offer to trade him to a contender and see if he's interested (he has 5-and-10 rights)?

3. Are you obligated to re-sign him and let him go for 3000 hits and the mythical combined US/Japan Pete Rose mark (he'll need at least three more seasons, I would guess)?


Taro's picture

Ichiro's pride is shattered.. You can tell from his quotes to the press. Translation would be something like, "There is nothing I can say.."
He looked rejuvenated in April and since May hes looked like he did last season. It is painful to watch.
He can still be a useful player with more rest and sitting against LHs, but his time as a starter is probably over.. But I'd really like to see him return to the NPB for a final season, not stick around as a shell of what he once was.. maybe to Orix Buffaloes.


I love Ichiro. However, all careers come to an end. My hope is that Ichiro's end is concluded as gracefully as possible. To accomplish that, I believe that Mariners' management should sit down with Ichiro right away and discusses options for next year with him, in particular to find out what he wants. If Ichiro wants to return in 2013 as a starter, then I think management must tell him that is not possible. He has declined too much for him to be given the starter role one more year, and giving it to him would set the team's growth too far back.
Given the team's struggles and his decline, I think the only feasible role for him next year would be at best fourth outfielder, more likely fifth outfielder. If Ichiro would accept a much-reduced role as a bench player, then I for one would not mind if he came back for one more year. I don't care if the team over-pays him for such a role.
If Ichiro wants to be traded, then the team should honor his request, even if it means picking up a major portion of his remaining salary. If he wants to just finish this year as a Mariner, and try his luck in 2013 as a free agent in the USA or Japan, that works for me too. If he definitely wants to retire, then I think the Mariners should orchestrate his farewell tour. But I think it's essential to a "satisfactory" ending that the team and Ichiro sort out as soon as possible what will happen next year. And to repeat, even for me as a fanboy, his starting again next year is not an acceptable option.
My $.02.


Read it here.
Author Nightengale says re Ichiro: "it's time to move on" and "who could blame" the Ms for wanting to move him, but "it's more complicated than that."
In other words, no real actual information or insight, but at least the issue is being aired.
Then he mentions talks with the Diamondbacks re Upton or Stephen Drew.  Says the Ms won't part with Ackley or Seager or any of the Big Three, but the Ms official acknowledged that there were ongoing talks.

Taro's picture

Went to Felix vs Darvish over the weekend and you really notice how far back Ichiro is in the box now. Hes lost two full steps on his speed to 1B. Yet, hes hes still struggling vs LHP despite the adjustment.
Its becoming clear that Ichiro is more of a platoon player at this point in his career. Would keep him fresh too.
Side note: The Ms should have been more aggressive on Darvish. There were a ton of Japanese fans on Saturday and they didn't come to see Ichiro.

IcebreakerX's picture

Don't know how to win. Don't know how to make a buck.

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