Originally written on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 11/9/14
  Ichiro returns for 2 more seasons with the Yanks Ichiro turned around his 2012 season when he was traded to the Yankees. He played 95 games on Seattle and his numbers were not impressive (.261 BA/.288 OBP/.353 SLG and only had 28 RBIs). Compare that to his 67 games on the Yankees (.322 BA/.340 OBP/.454 SLG with 27 RBIs) and you have a different story. He was a rejuvenated player on a winning team and his performance on the field showed it. So, why did it take so long for the Yankees to sign him? Well, I guess December 14th isn’t so long, but it has seemed to have taken longer than it should have. Perhaps part of the reason was the Yankees entire offseason approach. They wanted to lower their payroll (as seen by not attempting to resign Martin) and then zero in on pitching (as seen by resigning Pettitte and Kuroda). After that, they wanted to lay low and wait for players to come with them. So, Ichiro waited. However, the waiting seems to be over. Jon Heyman, of CBSSports.com, reported that Ichiro agreed to a 2 year, $13 million deal. Apparently, he took less money to come back to the Yankees, which is great news. Ichiro clearly enjoyed playing in New York and this deal indicates just that. It is rumored that a team, possibly the Phillies, offered $1 or $2 million more than the Yankees offer, but was turned down in favor of New York’s deal. By the end of this contract, Ichiro will be 41. How much does he have left? His offensive numbers have not dropped off too much recently. He did bat .272 with a .310 on-base percentage in 2011 and had a slow start in 2012, but turned it around on the Yankees last season and put up Ichiro quality numbers at the plate. However, his defense is something to take a look at. It has been declining at an alarming rate between 2007 and 2011. According to the stat FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) on Baseball Prospectus’ website, Ichiro’s numbers over those years are as followed from ’07-’11: 8.9, 4.5, 0.6, -0.8, -18. In short, what this stat indicates is a player’s ability to make plays compared to how many plays an average player would make. So, this decline cannot be taken lightly. In 2012, he posted a 5.6 FRAA with Seattle and a -1.8 FRAA on the Yankees, which is an improvement over his dreadful 2011 season. It is important to note, though, that right field in Yankee Stadium is not very large, so Ichiro will probably be able to improve on his -1.8 FRAA in 2012 as he becomes more familiar with the ballpark. In the end, this signing was a no-brainer for the Yankees. Yes, he is 39, but on a team that is seemingly hell-bent on hitting home-runs, you need a guy who knows how to situationally hit. Also, he stole 14 bases for the Yankees last season. Project that over a full season and you get 35 stolen bases. Combine that with Gardner and the Yankees have two guys who can wreak havoc on the base-paths.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Blue Jays OF tears meniscus in freak sprinkler accident

Death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Five bubble teams playing well heading into March

Falcons release Steven Jackson

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

Judge overturns Peterson suspension; NFL to appeal

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Full offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

Brandon Bostick received death threats after botched play

Ex-Louisville player charged with rape, sodomy

WATCH: Sidney Crosby catches teammate's stick in mid-air

WATCH: Vanderbilt coach tells own player 'I'll f-ing kill you'

Are the Kings willing to trade DeMarcus Cousins?

Johan Santana signed by Blue Jays to minor league deal

Leafs trade David Clarkson to Blue Jackets For Nathan Horton

Panthers acquire Jaromir Jagr from Devils

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

HBO picks up The Rock’s football series, ‘Ballers’

The key offseason moves for every MLB team

Giancarlo Stanton gets first-ever customized facemask

Ronda Rousey, Arianny Celeste have verbal sparring match

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Rousey, Arianny Celeste get into it

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The parallels of Rose and Hardaway

Offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

On Josh Hamilton's addiction and feeling alone

Judge rules against AP's suspension

Why the Lions should let Suh walk

Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.