Is it time to trade Ichiro? Plus M's expiring contracts...

Is it time to trade Ichiro?

I read a comment on the gameday thread by M’sfanatic “he just doesn’t excite me anymore...” Speaking of Ichiro. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. His game is stale right now.

Ichiro hasn’t been the same base stealing threat we have seen over the years. His 1.000% success rate is nice, but he has only attempted 9 tries. That puts him on pace to attempt just 22 steals. That’s not even half of the attempts of last year (47) and if he continued to be successful on all of them he would have his stolen base total nearly cut in half from his 40 last season.

Ichiro’s batting average has declined every year since his career high .352 average in 2009. Last year was the first season he hit under .300, and it was quite a bit under (.273). Tonight’s one hit effort dropped him down to an un-Ichiro like .263 average. At 38 years old it’s probably safe to say the best years are behind him.

Would there be a big demand for Ichiro? Considering he is 38, and will be 39 in October, he has an expiring contract that pays him 18 million a year thru 2012 w/5 million of it deferred he also has various bonuses built in that could push it further north. Would they be able to get some hitting, because with all these terrible batting averages, that is what they need?

As the year nears it’s annual all-star break, and as the Mariners sink further and further behind the rest of the AL West teams, it seems like the time to rid themselves of Ichiro and continue to rebuild around the sub-26 yr old core of Justin Smoak (25), Kyle Seager (24), Michael Saunders (25), Dustin Ackley (24) and Jesus Montero (22) is now.

It could be an interesting off-season for the Mariners who certainly will have money to spend in the offseason with most of the big-contracts possibly coming off the books the Mariners will have money for Free Agents:

Player Salaries
RK PLAYER Salary (US$)
1 Felix Hernandez 19,700,000
2 Ichiro Suzuki 18,000,000 Gone/FA/Trade?
3 Chone Figgins 9,500,000 Gone via eating final 9M in '13?
4 Brandon League 5,000,000 Gone via trade?
5 Jason Vargas 4,850,000 Gone/FA?
6 Miguel Olivo 3,750,000 Gone/2013 Option?
7 Dustin Ackley 2,100,000
8 Brendan Ryan 1,750,000 Gone/FA?
9 Hisashi Iwakuma 1,500,000
10 Kevin Millwood 1,000,000
11 Munenori Kawasaki 625,000
12 John Jaso 495,200
13 Justin Smoak 495,100
14 Michael Saunders 489,100
15 Mike Carp 488,800
16 Hector Noesi 488,000
17 Jesus Montero 486,900
18 Blake Beavan 486,500
19 Kyle Seager 484,300
20 Tom Wilhelmsen 482,900
21 Alex Liddi 481,300
22 Lucas Luetge 480,000

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