Ichiro Suzuki traded to the New York Yankees
During the All-Star break, Ichiro Suzuki made the difficult decision that it was time to move on from the Seattle Mariners and late Monday, the trade went down.
The New York Yankees sent two pitching prospects to the Mariners for the all-star outfielder.
”I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,” Suzuki said. ”It’s hard to contain my excitement for that reason.”
Wearing a pinstriped suit, Suzuki joined his new teammates in the visitor clubhouse at Safeco Field and, several hours after the trade, was cheered by Mariners fans when he took his position in right field – in place of the injured Nick Swisher.
In the third inning, he was given a standing ovation before his first at-bat against the only team he played for in 11 1/2 major league seasons. Suzuki tipped his batting helmet and bowed twice to the more than 29,000 in attendance.
“I think he’s going to fit in great,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He made the decision to want to make a move. Because he was on board with it, I think he’s excited about it. I don’t think this will be a real big adjustment for him.”
The Yankees sent right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to Seattle to complete the deal, and will assume just $2.5 million of Ichiro’s contract until he is eligible for free agency next year. The Yankees designated outfielder Dewayne Wise for assignment to create room for Ichiro.
“This was something that was a surprise,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “It’s an opportunity. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out for us, because I do think he can really help us. I look forward to seeing if that’s the case or not.”
While Ichiro’s performance has dipped at age 38 and he is no longer the impact player who notched 2,533 hits with Seattle, the Yankees are hoping he can simply step in and be a complementary piece to replace the injured Brett Gardner, who hasn’t played since April 17 and is out for the season.