NEW YORK (AP) _ The Yankees and Ichiro Suzuki finalized a $13
million, two-year contract Wednesday that keeps the 10-time
All-Star in the Bronx.

The 39-year-old, who will make $6.5 million in each of the next
two seasons, was obtained in a trade with Seattle on July 23,
revived his career and quickly became a fan favorite.

His batting average jumped from .261 with the Mariners to .322
with the Yankees, with five homers, 27 RBIs and 14 steals.
“The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned
being a part of,” Suzuki said in a statement released by the team.
“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.”

A 10-time Gold Glove outfielder with speed and a strong arm,
Suzuki has 2,606 hits in 12 major league seasons. He figures to see
corner outfield time, with the Yankees allowing right Nick Swisher
to become a free agent.
“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,”
he said.

New York opened a roster spot by designating right-hander Jim
Miller for assignment. Suzuki raises the Yankees’ payroll next year
to $182 million for 13 players with agreements.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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