Contrary to popular belief, Ichiro Suzuki is worth whatever the Seattle Mariners decide to pay him — and they think he’s worth $100 million (or thereabouts). With all that he does for their organization, both home and abroad, in advertising alone makes him well worth much more than that, maybe even $200 million.
And whatever the Mariners choose to pay him now or when his contract is up in five years is a small price to pay for someone who should be considered the modern-day Babe Ruth, a shooting star amongst a sky scape of brilliant lights, a savant among geniuses. I could go on.
The man was a Hall-of-Famer after LAST SEASON. He’d certainly be elected to Cooperstown by the Baseball Writers’ Association if he were to hang up his cleats tonight, right now even.
His achievements are numerous. He won the American League Most Valuable Player award after his first season in Major League Baseball. He has more than 200 hits in each of his six seasons, including an all-time MLB record 262 in 2004. He’s a six-time Gold Glove winning outfielder, a seven-time All-Star and the 2007 All-Star Game MVP after going 3-for-3 with the game’s first-ever inside-the-park home run. He’s also batting a robust .333 for his career, tops among all active players.
And his world-wide appeal is unmatched, hence the comparison to Babe Ruth. Not since the Great Bambino has a player bridged cultures like Ichiro has. He’s a rock star no matter where he goes, though most think, and he tends to admit, that he abhors such treatment or celebrity.
So let the Mariners pay Ichiro whatever it takes to keep him in their uniform for the rest of his playing career and maybe beyond. Who knows what he’d fetch on the open market, if there is such a thing for a player who almost defies proper description.