Ichiro Suzuki is a member or the New York Yankees, having been acquired by the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners Monday afternoon in exchange for two minor-league pitchers. Jack Curry of YES Network was the first to report the deal, via Twitter:
The Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki for RHPs DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar, a source said. Yanks also get undisclosed cash in deal.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 23, 2012
This is why you never believe Yankees general manager Brian Cashman when he says he isn't looking to make any moves at the trade deadline, which has been Cashman's stance for several weeks.
With left fielder Brett Gardner out for the season due to elbow surgery rumors had been circulating that the Yankees were in the market for an outfielder. The fact that they ended up with the 38-year-old 10-time All-Star is stunning.
Ichiro is in decline, hitting .261 in 95 games this season after managing only a .272 average a season ago. He has a .322 career batting average. Ichiro's OPS and on-base percentage have also been in decline the past couple of seasons. Yet, Ichiro has 10 Gold glove awards, remains a top-tier defensive player, brings speed to the Yankees lineup that they miss without Gardner and is in the final year of a five-year, $90 million contract.
Thus, Ichiro is really a rental for the Yankees and they will bank on him being motivated by the big stage and the playoff opportunity over the next few months. According to Curry, the Yankees will pay slightly more than $2 million of whatever is left on the $17 million Ichiro is being paid this season.
[That is a bargain for a future Hall of Famer who, will not what he used to be, brings to the table a skillset no one else on the Yankees roster possesses.
According to a statement released by the Mariners, Ichiro had requested a trade several weeks ago.
"Ichiro will be missed. He owns a long list of Major League Baseball and Mariners club records, has earned many prestigious awards, and in my opinion, he will someday be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame," said Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln.
The trade will make for an interesting dynamic Monday night since the Yankees are currently in Seattle to open a three-game series at Safeco Field against the Mariners. (10:10 p.m. ET/YES). The Yankees announced that DeWayne Wise has been designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Ichiro, making it likely Ichiro will be in the Yankees' lineup Monday.
|2012 - Ichiro Suzuki||95||402||49||105||15||5||4||28||17||40||15||2||.261||.288||.353|
-- See Pinstripe Alley for complete discussion and analysis of the Yankees.