Ichiro Received an Absurdly Small $40,000 Per Year To Pay Rent

Published on December 25th, 2023 2:48 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

An unusual contract add-on involving Seattle Mariners and their Japanese star player. Ichiro Suzuki is undoubtedly one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history, as he managed to clear the 3,000 hit mark despite spending some of his professional career in Japan.

In 2007, Ichiro had a particularly strong year for the Seattle Mariners, as he hit .351. Ichiro managed a stunning 238 hits that year, which is one of the highest single-season totals of all time.

Heading into the 2007-08 offseason, Ichiro had a very strong negotiating position due to his succession of strong years with the Mariners.


Ichiro's agent and the Mariners went to work, and soon the two sides had agreed to a massive 5-year, $90 million deal.

This included a $5 million signing bonus, and averaged out at $18 million per year.


Ichiro's side negotiated a number of additional perks into the deal, including four first-class airplane tickets every year, the use of a personal trainer and translator, and a new vehicle.

The oddest perk, however, was the $40,000 PER YEAR housing allowance.

That's right - Ichiro, who had already earned tens of millions of dollars to that point and was the new receipient of a deal worth nearly $100,000,000, had to have a housing allowance negotiated into his deal that added up to a little more than $3,000 per month.


In Japan, players usually received perks in their contracts that would cover costs for housing, vehicles and even food.

Ichiro's big contract with the Mariners was likely a spillover from his time in Japan, as his manager likely thought it appropriate to receive provisions for housing.

You can't help but think that the Mariners, who were already shelling out $18 million per year for Ichiro's services, likely found Ichiro's extremely modest housing allowance request hilarious.

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