The Ichiro walk year speculation starts

DMZ · October 29, 2006 at 9:55 am · Filed Under Mariners 

John Hickey, in the PI, writes that Ichiro will not ask for an extension, but will certainly be listening if the team comes to him.

Let the circus begin!


18 Responses to “The Ichiro walk year speculation starts”

  1. Corey on October 29th, 2006 10:10 am

    Interesting article. I actually have to give Hickey a little credit for sharing Ichiro’s history w/r/t one year deals.

    I think with all of the ?’s on this roster, and all of the overpaying going on, this is not much of a difficult call.

    Just my $ 0.02.

  2. Evan on October 29th, 2006 10:25 am

    I know the team thinks Ibanez is the face of the Mariners, but they’re wrong. It’s Ichiro.

    Plus, as a CF he’s an incredibly valuable player. He’s probably worth whatever we pay him. Add to that the real chance that he’ll return to Japan as soon as he stops playing in Seattle: I really want to see him break a few more records (like Wee Willie Keeler’s 8 consecutive 200 hit seasons), and he only needs 4 more seasons to be HoF eligible.

  3. eponymous coward on October 29th, 2006 10:46 am

    The bottom line is that if being on a winner is important, it does behoove Ichiro to wait, since we’re discussing a team that has 3 solid years in last place during a stretch that’s as bad as the franchise has been in 25 years. Wanting to see if management can get out of the ditch they’ve blundered into is very sensible.

  4. Jim Thomsen on October 29th, 2006 10:49 am

    Do we agree that Ichiro may be the rare player who needs to be won over by more than mere dollars?

  5. todda70 on October 29th, 2006 1:26 pm

    As a pure M’s fan, I want to see Ichiro stay. I enjoy watching him play.

    As a fan who worries about team spending, do I think its worth it to sign Ichiro? Yes. I am not talking about all the ‘Japanese Tourism Dollars’ or uniform sales, or any other intangibles, but about the fact that money shouldn’t really be an object for the guy who is, ‘the face of the franchise.’ It’s not Raul, it’s Ichiro. Period. Some day (hopefully soon!) it may be Felix’s team, but for now it is Ichiro’s.

    It would be a sad day for me to see Ichiro in a Mets or Yankees uniform, and even though I like the Red Sox as well as the Mariners, I would hate to see him go there, too.

    I hope Bavasi makes a deal. It would be cool for Ichiro to go into the hall as a Mariner, and not have to worry about some idiot at the baseball HOF decide what hat Ichiro’s bust should have on it.

  6. oNeiRiC232 on October 29th, 2006 2:39 pm

    Just out of curiosity, what do y’all think Ichiro would fetch out in the trade market? I love Ichiro like everyone else, but he’s 33 and it’s always better to trade a guy one year early than to trade him one year late.

    As said in yesterday’s analysis, teams have a tendency to overpay for a player that fills a specific need. That, combined with his uniqueness and sheer star power, makes me think that we could very well find some desperate organization that we could screw out of a whole lot of talent. =] Or am I just crazy?

  7. wabbles on October 29th, 2006 3:01 pm

    I’ve been proceeding on the assumption that Ichiro won’t sign another contract with the M’s. But yeah the question that raises, beyond some of the operational issues (Who will patrol centerfield?) is who will take his celebrity. Yes, we lost Junior after the 1999 season but we replaced his face with A-Rod and then replaced Alex after the 2000 season….Ichiro.

  8. Jim Thomsen on October 29th, 2006 3:30 pm

    I think there’s a possibility that Ichiro won’t WANT to come back. Why should he willingly waste the last of his productive years on an organization that doesn’t know how to take care of itself and solve its problems (namely, the organization itself)?

    If the M’s are convinced they have to have Ichiro back, they’d better prove it by winning some freaking ballgames.

  9. msb on October 29th, 2006 3:54 pm

    I thought when I read it that is seemed very much like other quotes from Attanasio–

    in 2003, pre-arbitration via Hickey:

    “…he is eligible for salary arbitration, meaning that if no deal can be struck, an arbiter will determine the player’s salary next February. And, agent Tony Attanasio said yesterday, Ichiro would not find that acceptable.

    “We are not looking for a one-year deal. Or a two- or three- or five- or 10-year deal,” Attanasio said. “What we are looking for is fair representation of what the club thinks this player is worth. If we cannot agree to terms, if they force it into arbitration, Ichiro will never voluntarily sign another contract with them.”

    and November last year:

    Attanasio said he believes Ichiro, who is currently in Japan and could not be reached by the Post-Intelligencer for further comment, has expressed “more disappointment than unhappiness” at the club’s current status.

    “Seattle was his first choice when the posting was done,” Attanasio said. “He feels fortunate to come here. Ichiro doesn’t want to go anyplace. But there is also the fact that he has limited time as a player. He wants this club to be a contender.”

  10. msb on October 29th, 2006 3:57 pm

    p.s. Derek– did you remember to “Fall back” today?

  11. Typical Idiot Fan on October 29th, 2006 4:12 pm

    Do we agree that Ichiro may be the rare player who needs to be won over by more than mere dollars?

    I would agree.

  12. Tom on October 29th, 2006 10:48 pm

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .

    If the M’s don’t show they are committed to winning a World Championship within one year, then chances are Ichiro will be in pinstripes come 2008.

    But alas, Howard Lincoln is the CEO, Bill Bavasi is the GM, and Mike Hargrove is the manager.

    So everybody get ready for “Ichiro Appreciation Night” this September, when you last get to see Ichiro in a Mariners uniform at SAFECO Field.

  13. Gomez on October 29th, 2006 11:20 pm

    Who else here has a sneaky suspicion that a certain manager may get the axe after 2007 as an appeasement to a certain top shelf free-agent-to-be, who is rumored to be very disgruntled with said manager, in return for said free-agent-to-be resigning with the ballclub?

  14. LB on October 29th, 2006 11:22 pm

    #12: How would putting on pinstripes help Ichiro win a ring? The last time NY won the World Series, Ichiro was the property of the Orix Blue Wave.

  15. Tom on October 29th, 2006 11:25 pm

    #14: Oh, George Steinbrenner has certain “ways” of persuading people that they’re the missing piece to the puzzle. . .

  16. Tak on October 30th, 2006 2:50 am


    Ok, first of all, if you compare the Yankees with the Mariners, not many people will disagree that NY has a much better chance of doing it. (despite the fact that they have not won it in a while) And! NY usually makes it to the playoffs without any problems, while the Ms haven’t come close in a while.

    Ichiro hates losing, many people realized this at last when they saw Ichiro’s interview after Japan lost to Korea twice in the WBC. I think the Mariners will need to at least make it to the playoffs next season (or come awfully close) to convince Ichiro to stay…

  17. Goose on October 30th, 2006 3:56 am

    Even if Ichiro does leave, why do people assume he goes to the Yankees?

    You know, there ARE other teams in baseball.

  18. msb on October 30th, 2006 9:21 am

    #11– I assumed getting MacLaren back was a tiny step in that direction; a familiar face he knows & likes, and one who is noted for his ability to be the friendly liaison between manager and player…

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