x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

MLB: Ichiro Suzuki signs new two-year deal with New York Yankees

The 10-time All Star player, who moved to New York from Seattle in the summer, has signed a deal worth an estimated Dh47.8m as he looks to reach 3000 career hits.

New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki doffs his helmet to the crowd.
New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki doffs his helmet to the crowd.

Veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has signed a two-year contract extension with the New York Yankees - as he looks to reach 3,000 career Major League Baseball hits.

The deal, worth a reported $13 million (Dh47.8m), allows the Yankees to keep a 39-year-old standout who has been a 10-time All-Star in 12 seasons since coming from Japan.

Suzuki joined the Yankees in a surprise switch from the Seattle Mariners last July.

"The Yankees are the kind of team that I always envisioned being a part of," Suzuki said. "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 organisation.

"I believe the Yankees organisation 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, practised, 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 hit .322 with five home runs and 27 runs batted in over 67 games for New York last season and overall batted .283 with 77 runs scored, 28 doubles, six triples, nine homers, 55 runs batted in and 29 stolen bases in 162 games.

By recording base hits in his first 12 games with the Yankees, Suzuki matched a team record for the longest hit streak to begin a Yankees career with Don Slaught's 1988 effort.

Suzuki, who is expected to replace free agent Nick Swisher as the Yankees' starting right-fielder, has 2,606 hits in his North American career, giving him a chance to reach the 3,000 milestone with the Yankees.

Since leaving Japan after a nine-year career in the Pacific League with three Most Valuable Player awards, Suzuki has batted .322 in Major League Baseball with two batting titles.

He was the 2001 American League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year with the Mariners.

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