Hot slow news day rumor mongering: Ichiro gone after 2007

DMZ · January 12, 2007 at 10:12 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Japan Baseball Daily (“Voted Worst-looking Web Site of 1994”) offers this hot hot hot rumor:

Ichiro Tells Sankei Sports that he is out of Seattle after 2007!

His answers concerning the state of the Mariners were described as “dripping
with sarcasm.” Says that he is at the stage of his career where he wants to
accomplish personal goals, one of which is to win a championship. So he is angling
to go to a contender once he obtains free agency at the end of the schedule. Ichiro
in Boston or New York? Stay tuned!

I want out of Seattle after 2007, too, but no one interviews me about it.

On the Sankei Sports site, though, Google translates the MLB headlines as

* Entirely record above previous season…Jojima, to 2nd year real starting!flag photo
* You adhere to the door closer…Otsuka, in Sendai independent [tore]
* Ikawa in Ibaraki of the local end which “finishes securely” independent [tore] reopeningflag photo
* As for [suuini] relationship is not [bonzu] apologizes in declaration
* Matuzaka, in Los Angeles to arrival independent [tore] piling up campflag photo

And there’s not a word of it anywhere else yet. So… uh… yeah. We obviously have no idea until the story either gets out (and is clarified/denounced) or is denounced. But there’s nothing else going on, and I know this is going to be thrown out in comments 90 times if I don’t write this up, so… here! Go nuts!

What does this mean? A trade? Have tension, dissention, and apprehension begun? Who knows?!? But feel free to work yourself up into a frenzy over it.


26 Responses to “Hot slow news day rumor mongering: Ichiro gone after 2007”

  1. jamier on January 12th, 2007 10:20 am

    ichiro will be 34 in 2008, and it’s probably a bad idea to spend $15mil/year for 6 years or whatever he’s going to get.

    BUT, i luv ichiro and hope he stays anyway.

  2. Ed Tsantamount on January 12th, 2007 10:21 am

    If I was Ichiro I would have requested a trade a few years ago. Don’t blame him one bit if
    it’s true. I’ve expected it. I also expect the managment to bungle any kind of trade for him. Next.

  3. 88fingerslukee on January 12th, 2007 10:22 am

    Yeah, I guarantee we get something along the lines of Carl Pavano and Scott Brosius for Ichiro.

  4. ScottH on January 12th, 2007 10:24 am

    This is not good. I don’t think he will sign with us again, and there is no way Bavasi will be able to get enough for him. I would guess that we lose Ichiro and get nothing in return.

  5. PADJ on January 12th, 2007 10:26 am

    If this is accurate and true, can anybody blame the guy? I’m not up to date on contracts, but does Ichiro go FA after the 2007 season? That would put a bad FO in a bad position.

  6. Swungonandbelted on January 12th, 2007 10:33 am

    I want to see how the FO tries to spin this one, as it will be (if it turns out to be true, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will) a direct result of their sheer incompetence in putting a competetive club together.

  7. BrianV on January 12th, 2007 10:49 am

    If Ichiro wants to go somewhere else after this year then more power to him, and I hope he gets his ring. I blame the M’s management for not even being able to give the appearance of competence.

  8. Paul B on January 12th, 2007 10:50 am

    As soon as they decided to bring back tweedledee and tweedledumber (Bavasi and Hargrove), it meant Ichiro was as good as gone.

    Can you imagine how mind-crushingly painful it must be for an intelligent person to play for Hargrove?

  9. Spanky on January 12th, 2007 10:52 am

    This is only bad in one scenario…if the Mariners are “semi-contending” come July. If the M’s are BAD (as expected) they trade Ichiro for some young players. I can live with this! If the M’s are good and in first, they make a push into the playoffs and maybe convince Ichiro that the worst is over and he should stay for the good years now that he’s weathered the bad years. I can live with this! If they’re close (say 5 games out or less), you can expect the FO to try to crank up the marketing machine to say they’re in the playoff hunt and try to acquire some (two-)bit pieces to “push them over the top”…but not really pull the trigger on a significant deal. M’s fade, then lose Ichiro for NOTHING! This makes me want to vomit!!!

  10. msb on January 12th, 2007 10:53 am

    can we get Deanna the Japanese link?

    in other news, Phil Rogers (and Johnny Pesky) think Portland deserves a MLB team.

  11. strong silence on January 12th, 2007 10:56 am

    Ichiro leaving after this season is the only reason for me to go to the ballpark this year.

  12. msb on January 12th, 2007 10:56 am

    when you go to, what the non-Japanese reader sees is just a shot of D-Mat ….

  13. Eleven11 on January 12th, 2007 11:03 am

    Oh brother, nothing good can come from this. Ichiro leaves as free agent. Bad. We lose his value for a draft pick which we will screw up. M’s trade him now. Bad, Bavasi would do it. M’s trade at deadline. Bad. value down, Bavasi would probably still do it. Only one good scenerio, Trade him now after you fire Bavasi and hire anyone else with a pulse (or not).

  14. Evan on January 12th, 2007 11:10 am

    Ichiro’s the reason I’m a fan of the Mariners. I only showed up in 2001.

    I wonder how I’d feel about him if he became a Yankee. There’s only one player I continued to like after he became a Yankee, and that’s Boomer Wells. Everyone else (A-Rod, Randy, Giambi) seemingly became a complete ass upon arriving there.

  15. 88fingerslukee on January 12th, 2007 11:15 am

    Matsui seems to be okay.

  16. Evan on January 12th, 2007 11:17 am

    Yeah, but I never liked him.

  17. scott47a on January 12th, 2007 11:18 am

    This has been coming for a long time.
    I hope he does go and win a championship somewhere else. The guy deserves it.
    Maybe we’ll get lucky and Matsui will get hurt again and the Yankees will be desperate to add an outfielder. That seems like the only likely chance that Ichiro will bring much as a rent-a-player.
    Also, and I don’t like saying this, he’s infinitely more valuable now than he is in July. Does anyone think they will trade him before opening day? Does Bavasi have the guts?

  18. msb on January 12th, 2007 11:18 am

    don’t suppose we could wait until he actually leaves to panic …

  19. Jim Thomsen on January 12th, 2007 11:36 am

    I think there’s very little chance Ichiro returns after this season. He’s not represented by Scott Boras; there’s every chance in the world that his concerns run higher than the materialistic. Seattle is a franchise that insists on going nowhere; there’s no reason he should insist on wasting the last few years of his greatness on a team hell-bent on not rewarding it.

    And that insistence on driving Ichiro away will be Bill Bavasi’s enduring legacy in baseball, I suspect. Bavasi will never again get a job in baseball of any great responsibility for that reason, in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t automatically assume that Ichiro will wind up in Boston or New York, however. One of the Southern California teams may be a better fit by 2008.

  20. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on January 12th, 2007 11:41 am

    I am one of Ichrio’s biggest fans, and have argued, even against the likes of our own Dave, about his value relative to other players past and present. I also think we’ll see him being productive many years into the future.

    That said, he won’t be worth a big 5 or 6 year deal after 2007, and that’s what he’ll likely demand and get. Plus, there’s little chance we’ll give him a contending team that isn’t full of swiss cheese holes.

    Short of backing into a World Series (or just dominating the AL this year – yeah right) I can’t imagine why he’d stick around, rumor or no rumor.

    If we are in it late in the year (and our attempts to sign a contract extension have failed), I say we stick it out, and expect the departure. If we are out of it, I think we get something of value for him while we can. I hate to think that way, but the FO only does more damage to the team to participate in some long drawn-out off-season process that results in Ichiro not coming and us passing on other options while we wait.

    I think we assume he gets a hefty contract whereever he goes, throw our best offer at him before anyone else can, and if he won’t go for the extension during the season or agree to terms shortly after it ends, then we should take the hint and not do another Alex Rodriguez drama play over it.

  21. MarinerDan on January 12th, 2007 11:47 am

    If this is true, maybe the ownership group will be so pissed that Bavasi et al. have let the club reach the point where even their golden boy wants out that they will finally wake up and can the current administration.

    As to whether Ichiro is worth a long-term commitment beyond 2007, I’m not sure that he is. That being said, I would still like the M’s to sign him.

  22. jaysbaseballfan on January 12th, 2007 11:48 am

    Abreu is done with the Yankees after this offseasn. I can see Ichiro in pinstripes. He wants to win, and they’ll throw the money at him. Is he there style though? I mean, he’s not a homerun hitter.

  23. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on January 12th, 2007 11:54 am

    #22 – I could see Ichiro going to a market that hasn’t had a huge-name Japanese player yet. I wouldn’t even put Boston in the hunt, as Matsuzaka made it pretty clear he didn’t want the Ichiro spotlight in his sphere of influence. Maybe by end of next season that’s no big deal to Matsuzaka, but with Boston’s investment in him (and his importance to that rotation), I guess they do very little to piss him off.

  24. Jim Thomsen on January 12th, 2007 11:56 am

    I wonder if a serious in-depth study has been done on the likelihood of Ichiro retaining his current value over the next several years. It seems difficult to project because his skills are so speed-dependent, and there’s no reliable way of predicting when Ichiro’s speed will go. It’s slipped a little from 2001, of course, but isn’t at the point where it’s a liability (at least in my opinion). But there doesn’t seem to be a steady rate of decline so far that I can see, and therefore there doesn’t seem to be a PREDICTABLE rate of decline.

    So I’m not sure that we should operate from the assumption that any four- or five-year deal for Ichiro absolutely won’t be worth it. Sure, he’ll be overpaid like everybody else, but Ichiro is such a historica anomaly that I don’t know how anybody can state with any confidence that he’d be a definite liability by the end of such a contract period.

    Everything else being equal, I personally would take that gamble. Because, as has been pointed out ad nauseum at other times, Ichiro’s value to Seattle far transcends his field performance. And if that field performance is still pretty good …. then something like four years and $60 million could be a Seattle-only bargain. (Don’t forget that Ichiro’s value here is far different than it would be in New York and Boston.)

  25. Deanna on January 12th, 2007 11:57 am

    Am I really the only person who reads USSM who can read Japanese?

    Ichiro Articles on Sankei Sports

    And this is the article that Gary was referring to: Ichiro says he will change teams via free agency after this season is over – “For my own good”

    I only skimmed the article, I’ll try to read it more carefully in a bit.

  26. DMZ on January 12th, 2007 12:00 pm