Ichiro Hot Stove Report

He’s now a free agent… Will the Yankees re-sign the 39-year-old superstar, or will he go elsewhere? About halfway through the 2012 season I was about to call for his retirement, but Ichiro’s surprise midseason trade to the Bronx Bombers seemed to revitalize him. Whatever happens, I’d love to see him play another season, regardless of the team.

In other news, I was bummed to hear he won’t be playing in next year’s World Baseball Classic. As he said today in Tokyo:

I appreciate being asked to play for Japan again at the WBC, but after the second tournament in 2009, I never considered playing in the third event. My feelings have not changed to this day, and it’s where things stand.

I don’t remember him publicly saying he wouldn’t play in another WBC, though he might’ve kept the decision to himself. Still, he was a major factor in both of Japan’s WBC titles — and there have been only two WBCs thus far — but the stress of the 2009 tourney resulted in “severe fatigue caused by a bleeding ulcer.” The M’s placed him on the DL for the first time in his MLB career, and he missed the first nine games of the ’09 season. I’m guessing he wants to avoid the stress of a possible Japanese three-peat.

Here’s today’s story, along with recaps of his performances in the 2006 WBC and the 2009 WBC.

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