12/19/12 6:57 PM ET
Yankees, Ichiro make two-year deal official
By Andrew Simon / Special to MLB.com
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although The Associated Press reported last week that it could guarantee the 39-year-old between $12 million and $13 million. To make room for Suzuki on their 40-man roster, the Yankees designated right-handed pitcher Jim Miller for assignment.
Suzuki, a 10-time All-Star in 12 Major League seasons, came to the Yankees in a July 23 trade with the Mariners and now figures to replace free agent Nick Swisher in right field.
"The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of," Suzuki said in a statement. "Everyone in the world of competition has a strong desire to win, but the Yankees also have an atmosphere where losing is not an option. These two observations may sound similar, but I believe it is a rarity to find both coexisting in the same organization.
"I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference between a 39-year-old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39-year-old who has prepared, practiced, and thought thoroughly through many experiences for their craft. I am very thankful, and I will do my best to deliver on their expectations."
Suzuki posted a .261/.288/.353 batting line for the Mariners last season but improved to .322/.340/.454 in 67 games with the Yankees, hitting five home runs and stealing 14 bases. All of his homers came at Yankee Stadium, where he recorded an .894 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) on the year.
Suzuki stands at 2,606 hits in his big league career, putting him 394 away from the 3,000 mark and giving him a chance to reach that legendary number in Yankees pinstripes. He has notched 362 hits over the past two years, following 10 consecutive 200-hit campaigns.
A lifetime .322 hitter, Suzuki owns two batting titles and was the 2001 American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He was a three-time MVP during his nine-year career in Japan's Pacific League.
Miller was selected off waivers by the Yankees on Nov. 30. The 30-year-old appeared in 33 games as a reliever for the A's last season, posting a 2.59 ERA and striking out 44 in 48 2/3 innings.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.