According to Jack Curry of YES Network, the New York Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Curry also suggests that the Mariners have also included some cash in the deal to cover part of the salary owed to Ichiro (!) for the remainder of the season.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that New York will only pay $2.25 million of whatever is left on the $17 million total that Ichiro (!) is set to earn in 2012.
The deal makes sense for the Yankees on one level in the Brett Gardner is out for the season with an inflamed elbow that requires surgery. Ichiro (!) will provide a measure of the speed and defense that the team would’ve been without with its regular left fielder on the Disabled List. However, Ichiro (!) isn’t the player he once was, as his .288 OBP will attest. Assuming that he would be able to provide three quarters of the offensive value that Gardner does is likely generous.
Even if the deal is only to spell a break for Raul Ibanez and avoid instances of Andruw Jones playing right field like yesterday, it’s likely worthwhile as the Yankees give up very little. Farquhar was a waiver claim from earlier this summer, while Mitchell was a tenth round pick in the 2008 draft. Both arms were very expendable.
From the Mariners perspective, this is clearly a matter of the organization doing right by its long time superstar. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Ichiro (!) had requested a trade, and if the team had no intention of offering Ichiro (!) a contract extension at season’s end, the soon-to-be free agent is likely best served by being moved to a contender. There’s no team in baseball that has a better record than the Yankees.
Adding to this is the timing of the deal, with the Yankees and Mariners set to begin a three game set tonight in Seattle. Fans in attendance could be forgiven for their double takes upon seeing Ichiro (!) wearing an opposing team’s uniform. It seems unlikely that he’ll wear the 51 that Bernie Williams wore for New York, but he could be in the lineup tonight if he’s up to it.