Ichiro says he wants to play “many” more years after 2014

2014 Season Preview: Injury Risks
Open Thread: 3/3 Camp Notes

Via Wally Matthews: Ichiro Suzuki wants to play “many” more seasons after 2014. “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said. “[I want to play] not just a few [more years]. Many. For me, I feel there’s no reason for me to retire right now.”

Ichiro, 40, has already been pushed into a fifth outfielder role and his last three years have not been good at all (80 wRC+ in 1,939 PA). He is only 258 hits away from 3,000 though, so he’ll need to hang around through at least 2015 to get to the milestone. Ichiro’s contract is up after the season and it’s hard to see the Yankees bringing him back, so he’ll have to hope another team picks him up next winter.

2014 Season Preview: Injury Risks
Open Thread: 3/3 Camp Notes
  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Can a 5th OF get 259 hits in 2 years?

    • ROBTEN

      Ichiro could probably barely get 259 hits in two years as a full time outfielder at this point.

      [Of the 226 players to get enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title over the past three seasons, Ichiro’s 80 wRC+ ranks 212, just five spots above our old friend Vernon Wells (217) and 14 spots above our new friend, no-hit Brendan Ryan (226).]

  • BrianMcCannon

    Love Ichiro and the dedication to the game. But its hard to deny he’s pretty cooked at this point. Maybe the Marlins bring him in to boost ticket sales? That’s about all I can see happening at this point.

  • BTG

    I think “Ichiro Suzuki” is Japanese for “Johnny Damon”.

    • Pinkie Pie

      Gifs speak louder than words.

  • TWTR

    If he is serious, he should force a trade.

    • Chris H

      Someone would actually have to want him for that to work and clearly they don’t.

      • TWTR

        Yeah, that’s true. Could he (as opposed to would he) agree to play for less money to effectuate that?

        • NCS

          Nope. That’s cause for hope longer term, I suppose. No one wants him as a highly paid player, but I bet there are teams that would still take a chance on him if he is willing to work an incentive-heavy contract.

  • Captain Turbo

    That’s a pretty poor translation of the original Japanese text. What he actually said is, “I’m so out of here after this year. I’m hitting the beach and enjoying some margaritas and senoritas.”

  • nycsportzfan

    I think hes gonna have another life of baseball in him as a speedy, can hit to all fields, good defending, pinch hitter, similar to what Giambi’s been doing, but as a power hitting, pinch hitting, spot starting. I could easily see him make this into a 2nd career of sorts for a good 2-5yrs.

    • WhittakerWalt

      You’re describing the kind of hitter he used to be. He can’t even hit the ball out of the infield anymore, and hasn’t for most of the last three years. What makes you think a huge correction is coming at this point?
      5 more years sounds pretty crazy. Only Pete Rose was able to milk that level of ineffectualness for that amount of time. Ichiro would have to play for league minimum.

      • nycsportzfan

        Hence, why I said 2-5. That means, between 2-5yrs.lol What part dosen’t describe him anymore? Slap Hitting? Speedy? Pinch Hitting, spot starting? Hit to all fields? I don’t get your post? Ichiro is a above avg player if your talking about a bench player. Hes a below avg player if your talking about a starter. Hes still a good defender, still extremely fast, still slaps the ball to oppo fields.etc

        • WhittakerWalt

          He simply does not hit the way you’re describing. Not anymore. He can’t hit at all anymore. He can go weeks without hitting a ball to the warning track now. Look at last year. Guys his age do not trend upwards. A rightfielder with an 80 wRc is atrocious. Even as a sub. He’s a pinch runner/defensive replacement now. How long can a guy like him stomach that kind of diminished role? He’s certainly not going to get many hits playing like that.

        • Chris H

          Hit to all fields is where you’ve gone off the tracks, that describes someone who can actually hit the ball with consistency to all field which is simply no longer true.

          At best he’s a 5th outfielder for defensive replacements late in games only.

  • lightSABR

    I would love to see him pull it off, and I’ll be cheering for some team to take a flyer on him this next offseason. How about the Red Sox? Maybe the Rays?

    • ROBTEN

      Yes, please take up a roster spot on one of those two teams!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I just like Ichiro. I don’t necessarily (or at all) want the Yankees to bring him back next year, but I’d love to see him play as long as he’d like and maybe get 3,000 hits

    • Chris H

      I imagine if he plays anywhere next year it’s in Japan, he’s not getting a major league deal after this season and he could make more than a minor league commitment doing a farewell tour in Japan.

      • noseeum

        That’s what I was thinking. I’m sure he can handle himself in Japan. May as well finish up there.

  • hogsmog

    I bet he could actually have a few more good and fun years in NPB. Not the biggest stage, but certainly surrounded by a bunch of fans, and a nicer way to close a career than pinch running.

  • BigLoving

    I read in the past that he wanted to try pitching torwards the end of his career. Always could use an extra bullpen arm, if anyone can pull it off its guy like Ichiro.

  • Nathan

    Hard to watch that GIF. I remember when Ichiro was the hardest guy to strikeout. Father time ignores no one.

  • qwerty

    I hope Ichiro will be able to find future jobs after this season and the next. At this point he’s really only worth a minor league contract. My suggestion to him is steal as many freaking bases as possible from here on out. Something like 50 a year, and maybe walk just a bit more. Heck maybe some team will be stupid enough to give him a 7 year 150 million deal afterwards. It’s really the only thing he can do at this point to raise his value if he’s not going to hit for anything resembling a high average.

    • nycsportzfan

      If he steals 50bags in the next 2seasons combined, and hits a meager 260 off the bench, hes gonna have no trouble finding work as a bench option, let alone if he stole 50bags in any one yr. Were talking about a bench player here. Ichiro’s still got a strong arm in the OF and can cover ground. To be honest, hes perfect for a bench player.

  • nycsportzfan

    How many 500SB, 2500HIT guys are there in MLB History? Hes 28SB’s away from that. Gotta be a very small group.

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