The New York Yankees have struck a deal with the Seattle Mariners that will land them superstar right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in exchange for minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar in a move that was a no-brainer for the Yankees.
The arms the Mariners are receiving are two organizational arms that likely are 12th men in the bullpen with Mitchell having a shot at being a long man or 5th/6th swingman starter at best. The Yankees did not have to give up anything of value for the rental of Ichiro.
The Yankees will take on only $2.25M of Ichiro’s remaining $6.7M so this was an easy trade for them having to give up nothing for a man that has been worth 1.8 fWAR so far this season.
As most people know, the 38 year old Ichiro has declined to a below replacement-level hitter over the past two seasons and has a dismal 77 wRC+ this year after posting an 82 last year (100 is league average) but he has a 98 wRC+ away from Safeco and moves to a far better hitter’s park where he should be at least league average and might find a few long fly balls end up in the short porch stands.
And, for whatever you think it is worth, Ichiro is a career .341/.372/.439 hitter in Yankee Stadium.
Ichiro’s real value is in the outfield and on the base paths. Ichiro leads the Majors by a wide margin in UZR with +15.6 and his Bsr has is +1.6 for the season. If Ichiro becomes even league average at the plate with the move to Yankee Stadium that is just an added bonus.
The Yankees give up virtually nothing for a player who could provide the team with an extra win over the course of the season. This was an easy “yes” for general manager Brian Cashman.
The Mariners are saying goodbye to an icon and the face of their franchise for over a decade now and I, personally, will have a hard time seeing him in anything other than a Mariners uniform. This move is to merely save the team a few million dollars but it was a move that Ichiro wanted for himself and the Mariners. It was time to move on and Ichiro brings what value he has left to the Yankees.
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt