Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 12/14/12
  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

Report: No communication between Derrick Henry, Titans

Adrian Peterson releases statement about joining Saints

Marshawn Lynch confirms he has joined the Raiders

Report: Titans reportedly looking to trade out of top five

Report: Doc Rivers will remain with the Clippers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rondo rules himself out for Game 5, unsure about Game 6

Report: Vikings unlikely to pick up Bridgewater’s fifth-year option

Jets reportedly willing to trade No. 6 pick to Browns

WATCH: Jose Altuve leaves game after scary outfield collision

Allen Iverson has savage response to Tim Hardaway’s crossover claim

Fred Hoiberg: Rajon Rondo ‘longshot’ to return during Celtics series

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

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

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker