07/13/2007 3:20 PM ET
Ichiro Suzuki signs five-year contract extension
Mariners center fielder signed through the 2012 season
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that the Mariners have signed All-Star centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a five-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the contract -- which covers the 2008-2012 seasons -- were not disclosed.
"While we did not publicly discuss negotiations, the one thing we have made clear since spring training was that it was our goal to have Ichiro play his entire career in Seattle, retire as a Mariner and go into the Hall of Fame in our cap," Bavasi said. "While I don't believe this is Ichiro's final contract, I do think today's signing is a big step in assuring he will spend his entire career here in Seattle."
"He is both an offensive force, and a Gold Glove outfielder. It is great news for our organization and our fans that he will be here in Seattle for another five years."
Ichiro, 33, is hitting .355 (128x361) this season with 13 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs and 39 RBI. Ichiro is among the league leaders in batting (2nd), multi-hit games (1st/43), hits (1st/128), stolen bases (3rd/23), on-base percentage (3rd/.406) and runs (9th/61). He was the unanimous MVP of the 2007 All-Star Game after going 3-for-3 and collecting the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history.
Ichiro has already recorded a club-record 25-game hitting streak this season, and set an American League record with 45 consecutive steals. He is hitting .400 with runners in scoring position, including a .600 mark (6-for-10) with the bases loaded. He is hitting .391 in Safeco Field this season, and is now a career .331 hitter at home.
"It's a great feeling to know I get to write his name in the leadoff spot every day," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "He's the guy that makes our team go. His preparation, dedication and desire to win are a joy for me to watch."
Ichiro, now in his seventh Major League season, has a career average of .333, with 168 doubles, 54 triples, 66 home runs and 398 RBI since joining the Mariners after spending nine seasons with Orix of the Japanese League. He has stolen 258 bases in his big league career, while being caught only 60 times. Ichiro is already among the Seattle franchise leaders in average (1st), hits (3rd), runs (4th), triples (1st) and steals (2nd). He has missed just 15 games in the past seven years, playing in 1,043 of the 1,058 team games the Mariners have had since the start of the 2001 season.