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Yankees, Ichiro make two-year deal official

Yankees, Ichiro make two-year deal official

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Yankees, Ichiro make two-year deal official
The Yankees, long reported to be near a two-year contract with veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, finalized that agreement Wednesday.

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.

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