Enemy Territory: Yankees Steal Ichiro From Mariners

The evil empire is at it again and this time their nasty tentacles have reached out to the West coast where they have stolen all-star and japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners.

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, via Twitter, the Yankees have acquired the outfielder in exchange for RHP’s D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.  The story gets better as the Mariners are also sending an undisclosed amount of cash to the Yankees to offset part of Ichiro’s remaining salary.  We can’t make this stuff up people.

Talk about highway robbery. The Yankees surrender a couple of relievers who were both drafted in the tenth round of the 2008 amateur draft for a former all-star outfielder in Ichiro.  Evil strikes again.

Now Ichiro is not what he used to be as evidenced by his slash line that he’s produced through 402 at-bats to this point of the season (.261/.288/.353/.642 with 4 home runs and 28 RBI). It’s a far cry from his career averages of .322/.366/.418/.784 but given how banged up the Yankees outfield currently is, the deal makes sense for the Bronx Bombers.

Recently the Yankees lost Brett Gardner for what is likely to be the remainder of the season after getting ready to undergo surgery on his right elbow.  Yesterday it was reported that Nick Swisher is battling a strained left hip flexor and will miss at least the next three games.  Ichiro is insurance for mainly Gardner’s injury but will no doubt fill in for Swisher for the time being.

Is it fair to use the term “steal” in this case?  I certainly think so when you look at both Mitchell’s and Farquhar’s stats, or lack there of in the big leagues.

This season with the Yankees, Mitchell has appeared in 4.2 IP, giving up 7 hits and 2 earned runs with a 2.143 WHIP.  During his time in the minors he’s pitched in 85.2 innings, boasting a 3.81 ERA with a 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.

Farquhar last appeared in the majors last season with the Toronto Blue Jays, appearing in just 2 games, giving up 4 hits and 3 earned runs. In 69.2 innings at the triple-A level, Farquhar has a 4.65 ERA with a 7.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

Given the experience and defensive abilities that Ichiro brings to the Yankees and suddenly giving up two minor-league pitchers, only one who is on the 40-man roster and the Yankees are looking like the winners in this one.

Of course there is the fact that Ichiro is 38-years old and will be free-agent at the end of the season, meaning Ichiro is likely a rental player for the Yankees for this year’s postseason run.  Still not a bad deal when you consider what they gave up.  Damn Yankees, they’re at it again.



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Tags: AL East Boston Red Sox Ichiro New York Yankees

  • Shad Gregory

    Given Ichiro’s age (38) and OBP (.288), I think it’s safe to say that the man is beyond finished as an everyday player. The Yankees are not getting much more than a warm body to occupy right field. Ichiro was an exciting Hall of Fame calibre player but all good things must come to an end.

    • DStykalo

      Yes he’s been fun to watch and it would have been interesting had he spent his entire career in the majors if he could’ve challenged for the all time hits record.

    • slipslydinlydin

      You just don’t get it! The Yankees literally gave up nothing to get Ichiro. One of the pitchers they sent, they just plucked off of waivers 3 weeks ago, and the other is a 10th round pick that they don’t project to be anything but a fill in in the pen when injuries happen.
      Now you say well all NY is getting is a 38 year old warm body? Ichiro has one of the best arms in the outfield still, and has speed and plays great fundamental baseball. He is not being picked to bat leadoff, but now NY will have a guy like Ichiro batting at the bottom of the line-up, so there will not be any easy outs.
      These are the type of deals that NY was making a decade & a half ago when they won 4 of 5 world series titles-bringing in future hall of fame vets slightly past their prime to fill in gaps.

      • John Fahrer

        Still probably doesn’t help or hurt them much either way. Ibanez and Jones are probably better options as far as production goes.

        • DStykalo

          I’m just surprised at how little they gave up for him. He’s not the .330 hitter he once was but I can see him thriving in Yankee Stadium, slapping base hits to right while driving in runs.

  • chief00

    As a Jays fan, I can say definitively that Farquhar isn’t much of anything. He was back and forth between the Jays and A’s the last couple of seasons in minor deals before the Yankees claimed him on waivers. The ‘wild card’ factor is that Farquhar may be decent in cavernous Safeco (he didn’t pitch in OAK). Realistically though, he’s a late innings guy at AA/AAA who’ll get pounded again in the PCL.

    I think Ichiro has the potential to be a very good pick up. Defensively he’s still solid, he still has good wheels, and I think he’ll enjoy playing home games at Yankee Stadium as an alternative to Safeco.

    They’re already head-and-shoulders above the rest of the division, and this deal has the potential to solidify their claim.

    • DStykalo

      Great insight Chief and I think you’re bang on with Farquhar. What bugs me is the Yankees are now a better team with Ichiro and they gave up so little to get him.

      • chief00

        TOR had Farquhar twice and got Rajai Davis for him; the NYY had him for a couple of weeks and got Ichiro for him. *Rolls eyes*

        Check out Ichiro’s home-road splits the last couple of seasons. I think Yankees fans/brass will be very pleased. Dang it…