Why do I like this move? Because Ichiro still has plenty of game left in him; anyone that doesn't believe he can produce, was obviously not paying attention to how he closed the 2012 season, or to how he played in the 2012 postseason. Yes, numbers-wise, Ichiro has been on a steady decline in the past few years in terms of runs and hits, but he maintains his average in doubles, home runs and RBIs. Yes, the hits are the biggest part of his game, but to produce 178 of them at the age of 38 is still pretty damn impressive. And to end a season of transition with a .283 average is nothing to cough at either. Also, Ichiro still has one of the most lethal outfield arms in the game. His defense has not changed much from where it's always been.
And, by the way, the 38-year old played in all 162 games last year between Seattle and New York. He continues to maintain an average of 159 games per season. That's production. For those of you begging to understand why Alex Rodriguez can no longer produce a season of at least 140 games anymore, this should be much appreciated.
We tend to frown upon what we perceive as lengthy contracts for older players. But at the end of the day, greatness is what greatness is. Sometimes you have to look at the overall picture with some players; not every player can simply be deduced to stats. There is some decline, but with Ichiro, you're still getting a productive player with solid numbers who remains a defensive threat. Not to mention his reputation for being a true teammate. Something about playing in the pinstripes tends to bring the best out players, and it's not too late for Ichiro to give us his best and make this impending deal worth while.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper