This weekend has been monumental for the Seattle Mariners.
Not only did they retire the number of franchise legend, Ichiro Suzuki.
But, they signed the future of their franchise, Julio Rodriguez, to a monster contract.
The Mariners have not been to the playoffs since Ichiro was on the team in 2001.
They are on pace to get back there this season thanks to the efforts of Rodriguez.
Before we get to Rodriguez’s contract let us talk about the celebration of Ichiro this weekend.
Arguably the greatest player in team history, Ichiro, was inducted into the Mariners hall of fame on Saturday.
Suzuki spent 14 seasons with Seattle, where he racked up 10 all-star appearances, one MVP award, and rookie of the year.
He even won the 2007 All-Star game MVP thanks to the first-ever inside-the-park home run.
On this date in 2007, Ichiro hit the ONLY inside-the-park home run in MLB All-Star game history 🔥 pic.twitter.com/g6h8Rjo439
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 10, 2021
He also had 10 consecutive seasons with 200+ hits and even set the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262.
Ichiro was also an elite defensive right fielder.
He won 10 gold gloves and had a great arm, unlike anything the MLB has seen before.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 11, 2020
Suzuki was also incredibly durable, he played at least 157 games in 11 of his first 12 seasons.
Throughout his career, he is a member of the legendary 3,000 hit club.
His unorthodox hitting approach made him one of the most unique hitters in MLB history.
That same hitting approach was a big reason why he finished with a career .311 batting average.
The crazy fact about Ichiro is that he came over to the MLB when he was 27 years old.
He played 951 games for the Orix Blue Wave of the Japan Pacific League before coming to the MLB.
Combining both his MLB and JPL stats, Ichiro has 4,367 hits which would be the MLB record.
It makes you wonder what his career MLB stats would look like if he came over in his early twenties.
This weekend for Ichiro is well-deserved and we get to see his next induction in 2025 when he heads to Cooperstown.
J-Rod Gets Paid
The future of the Mariners is none other than 21-year-old superstar, Julio Rodriguez.
Seattle has all the intentions of making Rodriguez a Mariner for life after signing him to this monster deal.
Rodriguez signed a complex contract that guarantees him 12 years with the team and at least $210 million.
Also, there are plenty of incentives placed in this deal like MVP awards won and top-10/top-5 finishes.
If he can reach these certain incentives this deal could be worth $470 million.
The Mariners recognize what they have in Rodriguez and they wanted to get this deal done now.
Mariners Rookies with 100+ Hits, 60+ RBIs and 15+ Stolen Bases:
Ken Griffey Jr.
M's got themselves a new superstar 🌟 pic.twitter.com/IAeMJ3L7Xq
— bet365 US (@bet365_us) August 26, 2022
We see deals like this with the Atlanta Braves a lot.
They sign their good young players to long-term deals way before they are free agency eligible.
Now it is starting to become commonplace around the league as more and more star players dominate in their early twenties.
Seattle currently sits tied for the second wild-card spot and 2.5 games up on Baltimore in that race.
Rodriguez is Seattle’s best chance to win now and in the future, as he has at least the next 12 years to try and capture that elusive World Series championship.