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Japanese newspaper reports Ichiro reaches deal with Yankees

Ichiro has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract for $5 million with the New York Yankees after seeming rejuvenated in half a year with the team last season.

Leon Halip

Nikkan Sports, a Japanese newspaper, reports that Ichiro will sign a one-year contract worth $5 million with the New York Yankees after spending the latter half of last season with the club.

[Report: Pettitte close to return]

Ichiro really thrived in his 67 games in New York, with his batting average shooting up from .261 with the Seattle Mariners to .322 with the Yankees. In the playoffs for the first time since 2001, Ichiro was one of the only Yankees to produce anything in the team's two playoff series, recording six hits in 17 ALCS at-bats while the rest of his team's offense sputtered in a sweep. Ichiro proved to be fine with playing left field and hitting lower in the lineup, although over the course of his tenure with the team, they proved comfortable with moving him higher as he became one of their most consistent hitters for average.

If the report is true, the $5 million would be significantly less than Ichiro was payed in past years, having earned over $10 million a year since 2004 and over $15 million since signing a five-year, $90 million extension in 2007 that expired this offseason. The contract has not been confirmed by any American sources, the player, or the club.