Yanks, Suzuki complete $13 million, 2-year deal

Yanks, Suzuki complete $13 million, 2-year deal
December 19, 2012, 6:49 pm
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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.