In the never-ending cycle of MLB trade rumors, there's always a deal that seems to come out of nowhere and smack fans across the face. We just had one of those deals happen. Jack Curry of YES is reporting that the Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners for pitchers DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar.
After Brett Gardner had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow to knock him out for the year, the Yankees needed a left fielder to take some of the pressure off of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. I'm not sure the 38 year-old Ichiro is much of an upgrade, because the former Rookie of the Year and MVP looks dead at the plate. He's not the same player he once was, as his batting average is a career low .261 and his OBP is also a career worst at .288. However, Ichiro does bring a lot to the table on defense, where he's a +12 in right field this year and has a 15.6 UZR. His defense alone makes him a league-average starter.
Neither piece going to Seattle has much upside. Mitchell is a 25-year old starter who is on his second trek with AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, and has a 5.04 ERA in 85 2/3 innings. His control is spotty, and he strikes out an acceptable amount of hitters, but that's really all he brings to the table. The 25-year old Fahrquar joins his fourth organization of the season, after stints in the minors with Toronto, Oakland, and New York. He's spent time in both AA and AAA this year, with most of his time coming in AA, where he struck out a batter per inning with OK command. He just seems like an extra guy, but whatever.
I'm more stunned that Seattle would trade Ichiro, the face of their franchise for the last decade, for such a subpar return. Don't get me wrong, he's absolutely not the player he was a few years ago, but he's still an icon in the city. This brings one of the more notable eras in Mariners history to an end, and it will be very interesting to see what the reaction of the fans to the trade is.
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