Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thanks But No Thanks, Ichiro

As mentioned earlier today on the AB4AR Page, Joel Sherman reported that Ichiro Suzuki enjoyed his time as a Yankee after the trade this season and that Ichiro "strongly wants to stay" with New York next season.  Without delving too deeply into this, allow me to make my case against this idea.

Average age of Yankee postseason roster- 33.08 years

Current Age of Ichiro- 39 years

It just doesn't make any sense to make an already old team with a ton of money tied up in its oldest players any older.  Ichiro did exactly what the Yankees wanted him to do and exactly what a lot of people thought he would do after the Yankees traded for him.  But that still doesn't change the fact that he has deteriorated significantly as a player himself in the past 2 seasons, and the odds of him replicating what he did in his short time with the Yankees over a full season next year are incredibly low.  Let him be what he was and go out on a positive as a Yankee and focus efforts on finding a younger, more versatile outfield solution.


DickAllen1964 said...

Can't agree with you here. This guy would make a great re-sign. Your opinion that his time with the Yankees was a fluke has no basis in fact. None whatsoever. You made that statement with nothing to back it up! I give him another one year and might possibly consider two if the price is right. Let's face it: the guy did everything we could have hoped for and more! His resurgence only goes to prove that his bat is still lively. .322BA? 13 doubles? In 240PA? HIS OPS+ was 114 - just a point over his career average. These FACTS, if anything, prove conclusively that Ichiro has lost very little and his last few years with the M's was the real fluke! I give him another year and would consider two if the price is right, at say, 5-6MIL per. He's be a bloody bargain at that price!

Unknown said...

I never said his performance with the Yankees was a fluke, just that it's highly unlikely that they are a true representation of what he is as a player at this age.

Those numbers in his 240 Yankee PA are fantastic, but the roughly .265/.300/.345 line that Ichiro posted in 1,144 PA with the Mariners since the beginning of 2011 paints a much more accurate picture of what his abilities are. And even with the strong finish, he still finished the year with just a .300 wOBA and 90 wRC+.

If we could be confident that Ichiro could sustain a high level of production over the course of a full season next year, $5-6 mil would be an absolute steal for him. But the big picture from the last 2 seasons, and the trend in his production since 2010 doesn't make me confident that he can.

DickAllen1964 said...

Brad, I think you're painting an overly gloomy picture of Ichiro's worth and I wonder if you aren't still feeling, as I am, the depressing impact of the team's performance in the playoffs.

Right now I am holding onto all the really good things that happened in 2012, their playoff collapse notwithstanding. The Yankees this year were hot and cold all season. When they were good they were very good and when they were bad they were miserable. And one of the bright spots for me was the play of Ichiro, and I think we need more guys who can generate offense, thereby creating a more balanced and sustained attack. We've seen what a group of home run hitters cannot do when they all go into a slump and that is how the Yankees have operated the past few years.

That being said, I do not share your pessimism about Ichiro. I have every confidence that what we saw of Ichiro's sampling as a Yankee was the real thing and that his last 2 seasons with the M(iserable)s was an aberration!

We'll get 'em next year!