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10/22/1973 (43 y, 4 m, 5 d)
$2.5M / 1 Years (2016) + 1 Option Years
Suzuki (back) is making progress in his rehab and should return to team workouts on Monday, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. (2/26/2017)
Looking for Active Hall-of-Fame Position Players
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Ichiro Is Hitting Almost Literally Everything
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
Just How Quickly Did Ichiro Used to Get Down the L»
August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
In his ninth big league season, Ichiro turned in another solid fantasy season. It seems like just yesterday that he entered the league and won the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards, but that was all the way back in 2001. In 2009, Ichiro hit .352/.386/.465. He stole 26 bases in 35 tries, a career low in both areas. He also scored 88 runs, drove in 46, while hitting 11 homers. His line-drive percentage has been slowly dropping since 2005, falling to the 18.2% mark this past season. Ichiro continued to have no real platoon splits, with an .863 OPS against righties and a .829 OPS against lefties.
The Year Ahead:
Ichiro’s main value, his speed, is slowly dying. Even though he missed time at the start of the season with a bleeding ulcer, he probably would have fallen short of the 30 steals mark for the first time in his career. The 2009 season was also the first year that Ichiro didn’t score 100 runs, but he may have reached that mark if he had been healthy. The Mariners offense probably won’t be much better this year, but he will find a way to score runs and move along the base paths. His batting average was a bit inflated due to his lucky BABIP, but another .300 season with 90 runs and 25 stolen bases is on the horizon for Ichiro in 2010. (Zach Sanders)
The man who just will not age – at 36, Ichiro hit .315 and racked up 42 stolen bases, the fourth highest mark he’s had since arriving in the states. He keeps himself in tremendous shape through a variety of stretches and an exercise program that most Major Leaguers half his age couldn’t perform, and while his advancing years may scare off other owners, you shouldn’t be too concerned with his date of birth. He’s a near lock to hit over .300, play 150 games, and be among the league leaders in stolen bases. The Mariners offense is putrid enough to drive down his runs and RBI totals, but it’s unlikely to be as bad as the historically inept unit they put on the field in 2010, so expect better numbers in each of those categories than he posted last year as well. It’s not often that a 37-year-old can be viewed as a candidate to improve, but Ichiro could be a bargain on draft day. (Dave Cameron)
The Quick Opinion:
An elite average/steals guy who should produce more in runs/RBIs in 2011. As long as you don't need HRs, he's a great buy.
It was a hard to find an Ichiro owner who wasn’t complaining in 2011, as the Japanese outfielder had easily the worst season of his career. While it may have seemed like it at the time, Ichiro wasn’t completely worthless last year. The 38-year-old still managed to hit over .270 and steal 40 bases, making him an ultimately valuable fantasy asset, but one that you likely overpayed for. The days of Ichiro compensating for your high-strikeout hitters are probably over, but that in no way means he’s done being a productive fantasy tool. If the Mariners’ offense can show any kind of improvement this year, Ichiro could still produce a .270+/35/90 line that makes him worthy of a starting job in any league. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Ichiro isn’t going to be a fantasy superstar anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore him. Draft him as the player he is now and not the ageless wonder he’s been in the past.
Ichiro! returns to New York at the age of 39, signing a two-year deal. You would think that after twelve seasons, we’d all know how to feel about the future Hall of Famer; just hack 10% or 15% off of last year’s stats, and settle it at that. Ichiro’s relocation to the Big Apple at the deadline could complicate that logic, however, and in a good way. In his 240 plate appearances in pinstripes, there was a marked increase in his slugging percentage, stolen bases, and batting average on balls in play, while his counting stats like runs and RBI benefited from the Yankees’ stronger lineup. It could be small sample size, or as Jeff Sullivan suggests, it could be an alteration in his approach at the plate, capitalizing on a new ballpark that doesn’t hate him. Regardless, there is some legitimate upside in Ichiro, not in the categories we traditionally associate with him (average, steals), but in more unusual categories (home runs, RBI). He’s no longer a superstar by any means, but an Ichiro that hits a dozen home runs and steals thirty bases can still be a valuable commodity in any league. (Patrick Dubuque)
The Quick Opinion:
There are reasons to believe that Ichiro as Yankee can shore up on his weaknesses enough to counteract the deterioration of his strengths, and remain a valuable outfielder in 2013 at the age of 39.
Ichiro recently turned 40, but he continued to play most days in 2013. That may not continue now that Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran have joined the Yankees, although he would have suitors if the team decided to trade him. Ichiro has lost speed his last two seasons. He stole 40-plus bases in both 2010 and 2011, but that fell to 29 and 20 the last two seasons. The loss of speed has likely also driven his declining batting average, which has fallen below .300 the last three seasons (with a .294 batting average on balls in play) after not doing so in any of his first 10 seasons when his BABIP was .347. Ichiro is no longer a guarantee to provide a boost in average, but he is unlikely to do damage there, and he still adds decent speed. Avoid trying to platoon Ichiro. He has a reverse platoon split in his career and hit almost 100 points higher versus lefties than righties in 2013. (Scott Spratt)
The Quick Opinion:
Ichiro may lose his role as an everyday player in 2014, even if the Yankees trade him. He is a source of a little speed and a meh batting average, but a reverse platoon split makes him difficult to spot start.
The days of a dominant or even fantasy relevant Ichiro might be over. He was unable to find a starting gig as a free agent but he landed in Miami as a fourth outfielder. No longer an everyday player, Ichiro's .662 OPS since 2011 won’t cut it anymore. The National League will be a better home for his skills as a defensive outfielder who can also pinch hit and pinch run. Barring an injury to Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, or Christian Yelich, Ichiro will get his playing time in those roles. Always known as a premier contact hitter, Ichiro’s 17.7% strikeout rate last year is certainly worrisome (20% is average). Ichiro’s .284 batting average was solid last year but his .346 batting average on balls in play was his highest since 2010 and at 41 years old, he seems more likely to bat .260 than .280. However, if a starter goes down, Ichiro will see the field and in certain NL-only leagues, just a starting OF has some value. (Ben Pasinkoff)
The Quick Opinion:
Some deeper leagues will still roster Ichiro, but his upside is slim and his downside -- as a 41-year-old backup outfielder -- is obvious.
Ichiro is national treasure in two nations. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. Though he's struggled quite a bit as he's gotten older, it will still be great to see him collect his 3000th hit. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. It's quite difficult to really fathom, via memory, just how electric and exciting Ichiro was when he first came to the Mariners. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. Now, he'll struggle to get on base in Miami while continuing to struggle from a power standpoint. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. If the rumors about his regarding his ability to be a home run hitter if he wanted to were true, now would be the time to prove that. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. Do not put Ichiro on your fantasy team. (David Temple)
The Quick Opinion:
Ichiro is wonderful, and we should all appreciate him. We won't appreciate him from a fantasy standpoint, but that's not really what we're here for. If you are, congratulations on waking from your coma.
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Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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