Ichiro Suzuki is officially the highest-paid Mariner of all time. The 33-year-old Japanese import signed a 5-year extension worth $90 million this week and is now sewn up through 2012. Seattle worked hard to secure its leadoff man, who was a hot item with deep-pocketed clubs like the Yankees even before hitting the first inside-the-park homer in All-Star Game history.
Seattle's CEO called the deal—which makes Ichiro becomes the fifth-highest-paid major leaguer, behind Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, and Manny Ramirez—a "very acceptable risk." The Post-Intelligencer reports the usually reserved player said at a press conference yesterday that his dog helped him make up his mind: "He said, 'Ruff, ruff, ruff.' That means 'Stay, stay, stay.'"