Buhner told ESPN 710 Seattle that he'd "vomit" if the Mariners offered Ichiro any type of long-term commitment.
Here's Buhner's full comment:
I'd vomit. I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we've got to get this organization turned around. You can't be spending all the money on one guy.
I'm sure if the Mariners offered a guy like Felix Hernandez or Jesus Montero a multi-year deal, Buhner would have absolutely nothing to say about it.
Buhner likely has absolutely no problem with the Mariners offering a ton of money to one guy, as long as the one guy isn't an aging right-fielder who is experiencing the worst season of his MLB career.
Ichiro, 38, is hitting just .260/.288/.351 this season with 97 hits and 13 stolen bases. Last season was only slightly better. He hit .272/.310/.335 with 184 hits and 40 stolen bases.
It's no question that Ichiro is on the decline, but if the Mariners want to keep the face of the franchise around for a few more seasons, I say, "why not?"
If he's willing to take a paycut to play in Seattle for a few more seasons, there's no harm in keeping him around in a platoon role. Even if he starts but gets dropped down in the lineup, you can do much worse than having Ichiro in the outfield.
Buhner's comments will definitely cause some sort of an uproar in the Seattle media and among M's fans, but I would suggest fans think about the Mariners' options before taking a definitive stance on the matter.