Ichiro turns 39 this October. His 10-year streak of 200-hit seasons ended last year, and this year, his on-base percentage has dipped to a career-low (.290), as has his batting average (.265). At 30-40, the Mariners are languishing (again) in the AL West cellar, en route to their third straight year finishing under .500. They’ll miss the postseason for the 11th straight season.
Naturally, Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times is asking what everyone in the Northwest is whispering: What to do with declining Ichiro?
Ichiro should be easy to trade, but he isn’t. There are no secrets about him. Scouts know he’s not a team guy. Scouts know he doesn’t look at enough pitches during an at-bat. They know he is most concerned with volume.
These are probably the last months Seattle will get to watch Ichiro. There is no way he should be re-signed. He’s not one of the wily veterans every rebuilding team needs in the lineup.
It’s moments like these that we must remind ourselves: Sports are a business. It must have been torturous for Bulls fans to see Jordan in a Wizards uniform. I’m glad I never saw Magic wear anything besides the purple and gold. We’ll never see Jeter in anything other than pinstripes. Even though Ichiro has veto power on trades, would he leave a sunken ship for a shot at the postseason? How might he look running around the Atlanta outfield? Pinch hitting in a big spot for the Giants? Probably awkward. [Seattle Times]