N.Y. Yankees surprised with the acquisition of Suzuki
The Yankees have acquired 10-time All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for a couple of pitching prospects.
The teams reported the trade hours before their 3-game series opener in Seattle. Ichiro, who spent his whole top career with the Mariners, will make his Yankees debut in the competition at Safeco Field.
Following a brief discussion with the Japanese star, Yankees chief Joe Girardi finalized NY’ starting lineup with Ichiro batting 8th and playing right field.
Ichiro, 38, is in the final year of a 5-year, $90 million agreement. During a meeting to announce the deal, Ichiro recognized that he requested to be traded, saying that it was in his best interest to not return to the rebuilding Mariners in 2013.
“When I spent time during the All-Star break to think, I realized that this team has many players in their early 20s,” Ichiro asserted through a translator. “I started to think I shouldn’t be on this team next year. I also started to feel a desire to be in an atmosphere that I may have a different kind of stimulation than I have right now.”
The last-place Mariners granted Ichiro’s request in sending him to the 1st-place Yankees, who enter Monday’s game with the best record in the majors at 57-38.
“I’m going from a team having the most losses to a team with the most wins, so it’s been hard to keep my excitement,” he claimed.
The Yankees also received money considerations from the Mariners, who acquired reliever D.J. Mitchell and minor time right-hander Danny Farquhar.
Ichiro figures to offer a serious boost to the N.Y Yankees, who were swept by the Oakland Athletics in a 4-game series this past weekend and have been hunting for outfield depth since likely losing left fielder Brett Gardner to a season-ending elbow injury.
Although Ichiro has played the great majority of his career in right field, Girardi announced the Yankees’ primary plan is to use the vet as a replacement to Gardner in left field. Ichiro will fill in Monday for right fielder Nick Swisher, who has been sidelined with a hip injury.
“We’re extraordinarily excited to have him,” Girardi declared. “We think that he brings a speed element, a tremendous hitter. That speed component is something that we lost when (Gardner) had surgery. So this is a big day for us.”
The agreement delineates the end of Ichiro’s historic tenure with the Seattle Mariners. Major league Baseball’s 1st Japanese-born position player, Ichiro is the Mariners’ all time leader in batting average and hits. He was named the AL’s MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001, when he helped lead Seattle to the best regular season in history.
Ichiro also won two AL batting titles and 10 Gold Glove awards in his 11-plus seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
“It is tricky for me to concisely express my feelings,” Ichiro related. “When I imagined taking off the Mariner uniform, I was overcome with unhappiness. It has made this a very difficult call to make.” Sportsbook Online