BREAKING: Ichiro traded to Yankees for pitching prospects, cash, chewing gum
Chewing gum was not actually included as part of the trade, as indicated in the headline above. Considering how little value the Yankees were willing to give up in the Ichiro deal, though, one wonders if New York would have backed out of the trade if Seattle had indeed asked for a couple sticks of Juicy Fruit.
The Mariners were dealt minor league right-handed pitching prospects D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, plus cash, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network who broke the Ichiro trade news.
While Seattle got two righties of whom no Mariners fan has ever heard, the deal does make sense for Seattle. Ichiro will be a free agent at the end of the regular season, and Seattle was guaranteed no compensation for losing him. Ichiro is having his worst season ever, batting "just" .261. This season is pretty much toast for the Mariners, who are dead last in the AL West.
The Yankees, meanwhile, have depth problems in the outfield.
The Yankees and Mariners actually play one another tonight (Monday) in Seattle. USA Today reports that Ichiro will play against the Mariners tonight, and that he will retain his No. 51 that he has worn all 12 of his seasons as a Mariner.
By virtue of his having been in the majors ten years and five seasons with the same team, Ichiro could have refused the trade. He declined to do so, and is now in pinstripes.
Suzuki was AL MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001, his first year in the MLB. Since then, he was voted to ten consecutive AL All-Star teams. Ichiro is 38 years old, and will turn 39 during this season's MLB playoffs.