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Pipe Dream: Ichiro?


I'll start this out by saying that its obviously never going to happen, and therefore pointless to speculate about. Still, the Internet is for porn and for baseless speculation so here goes:

The Mariners canned their GM today, and at the press conference their team president suggested that all options were on the table. He repeated that when someone asked him specifically about Ichiro.

Our friends at
wikipedia tell us that Ichiro's contract calls for him to be paid $12 million/year for the next four years, with an additional $5.5 million a year in deferred compensation.

Ichiro bats lefty, plays a mean OF, and is the best leadoff hitter in the game. He also says things like this:

 

Playing on this team and seeing what is happening around me, I feel that something is beginning to fall apart. But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers and booing. Usually I enjoy Japanese beer, but given the situation, if I was objectively watching the game, I wouldn't care if it was Japanese beer, American beer or beer from Papua New Guinea.

 

And:
On his personal battles with Dice-K: "I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger."


And:

"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to," Ichiro said through an interpreter. "If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

In short, whats not to love about him? And, in a crazy world in which he was actually really available, what would it take to get him?

 

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I'd like to add him. He has an 811 career OPS with an 81.5% steal rate and excellent defense in right. Maybe not quite worth $12 million per year but I wouldn't say that he's grossly overpaid. His presence would also increase our revenue through jersey/t-shirt/other sales which would help offset the amount that he is overpaid.
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I'd love to add Ichiro. The M's might like that Cameron's contract expires after the year. Ichiro would likely go to RF with Hart in CF. I don't know what it would take to add him though.
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Ichiro isn't all that overpaid on the diamond, if at all, and I'm surprised that people who follow the finances of the team as closely as some of the posters in this thread do would be so dismissive of his off-field value.

 

Who says Ichiro isn't good in CF? UZR doesn't like Ichiro, but all other metrics do and this average of all the metrics ranked him 3rd best CF in MLB for 2007.

 

It's hard to see how Ichiro isn't a much better player than, say, Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano. Lee is terrible at everything except slugging and BA, yet he's getting paid more than Ichiro. Soriano is a closer match because he is also a good baserunner and has some defensive value (despite him butchering a few this season). However, Ichiro plays the tougher defensive position and his value is tied to his OBP rather than his SLG.

 

Actually, Ichiro even has a higher career OPS+ than both of those guys, and his advantage in offensive value gets wider when you consider that OBP is worth more than slugging. The only problem is that Ichiro is 2 years older than either of them. OTOH, his contract is shorter than Soriano's.

 

 

edit: that $5.5 million in deferred money is per year, which makes Ichiro's yearly salary worth a total of (according to wikipedia) worth $16.1 million (slightly less than Lee or Soriano get per year). Considering Jose Guillen got $12 million per just last offseason, the "overpaid" epithet is getting old. If worse players get paid as much or nearly as much, how is a guy overpaid, rather than just paid the going rate?

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I'm surprised with some of the comments in this thread. Ichiro seems like the perfect fit for this team. All he does is hit, he is gold glove caliber at at least two OF positions, he steals bases, and those quotes from the first post are outstanding.

 

If this was the offseason, I wonder if we could get him for Hardy, Gillespie, and filler. Slide Escobar in at SS next year. I doubt that's enough though.

 

Of course, I doubt the first thing Seattle's new GM will do is trade Ichiro.

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I watched an Ichiro at bat during their game last night. He hit a bouncing ball down the 3rd base line that the fielder grabbed in front of the bag and made a long throw to first. Ichiro called safe, although replays showed he was probably out by an inch or so. He was sacrificed to 2nd. Then, he stole 3rd. The catcher made a perfect throw, the 3rd baseman was postioned perfectly and made the tag on Ichiro's shoulder blade as he slid head first. Problem was, his hand had already touched the bag, safe at 3rd. He didn't score, but the Brewers sure could use some of that excitement.

 

When I'm flipping channels through ExtraInnings, Ichiro and Manny are the only two players I always stop at to watch their at bats. Ichiro is not one of the 10 best players in baseball, but neither is he overrated, imho. Watching him last night I thought, I want him on my team.

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Baseball-wise, Ichiro isn't that overpaid now, but in three and four years when he's declined even further that will be pretty rough. He's not good enough anymore to help a lot anyway. Cameron's probably better in center, and he doesn't hit enough to start in either corner here.
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He's not good enough anymore to help a lot anyway.

I don't know, but 30 SB, .355 OBP and 47 R tells me he would be able to help out as a pure leadoff hitter right away.

Cameron's probably better in center' date=' and he doesn't hit enough to start in either corner here.[/quote']

I don't know if he is or not. I'm thinking that they are probably around equal on the defensive end. The Brewers don't need anymore hackers who will generate high K totals. Cameron has struck out 58 times in 151 at bats (1 / 2.6 AB). Ichiro has struck out 31 times in 290 at bats (1 / 9.4). To me, it is a no brainer.

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You don't pass on an international superstar like Ichiro. To me, the benefits he would bring would outweigh the downsides (getting older and doesn't hit for power). Would love to have him, but it will never happen, since the Brewers typically don't land players like that.
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You don't pass on an international superstar like Ichiro. To me, the benefits he would bring would outweigh the downsides (getting older and doesn't hit for power). Would love to have him, but it will never happen, since the Brewers typically don't land players like that.

 

Thats one of the reasons we'd be lucky to get him, and he'd be worth every penny the Brewers would pay him. The added revenue in advertising and sales to Japan would help the team overall. And its not like Ichiro is or has ever been Jeffrey Hammonds style money pit, even if he is possibly overpaid. I can't see this ever actually happening, but I would be thrilled if it somehow could.
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With Sexson in the last year of his contract, perhaps a deal involving Prince would be in order? Prince, Hall and Bush to Seattle for Ichiro.

 

 

I like Ichiro, but Prince is too much to give up for him, considering age and contract status. Hardy or Weeks, maybe.

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