OK, the question was kind of loaded.
Former Mariners great Jay Buhner was asked on an ESPN 710 radio show today whether the Mariners should bring Ichiro Suzuki back for something like $35 million-$40 million over three years, and he decided to go all Carmelo Anthony on the subject. The Seattle Times has the quote:
“I’d vomit,” Buhner said. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.”
Nope, especially not when that one guy has been a liability two years running.
The Mariners are making noises about bringing back Ichiro for 2013 and beyond, but there’s a good chance it’s just talk, and even if it isn’t, they can’t possibly be thinking about giving him a three-year deal. Really, even if he plays a little better over the rest of this season, it’s hard to imagine another team giving him anything more than a one-year, $5 million deal.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.