Yankees Acquire Ichiro For 2 Minor Leaguers
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Updated at 1:23 a.m., July 24, 2012
SEATTLE (WFAN) — Whatever problem the Yankees appeared to have in the outfield is likely no longer an issue.
New York struck before the trade deadline in a big way Monday, acquiring 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-hander D.J. Mitchell and right-hander Danny Farquhar.
“When I spent time during the All-Star break to think, I realized that this team has many players in their early 20s,” Suzuki said through a translator. “I began to think I should not be on this team next year. I also started to feel a desire to be in an atmosphere that I could have a different kind of stimulation than I have right now.
“It is hard for me to concisely express my feelings,” he continued. “When I imagined taking off the Mariner uniform, I was overcome with sadness. It has made this a very difficult decision to make.”
Sources told WFAN’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees will pay Suzuki $2.25 million for the rest of the season.
Suzuki, 38, is hitting just .261 this season, which would be the lowest average of his likely Hall of Fame career, but has hit at least .300 in 10 of his 12 major league seasons. The move from spacious Safeco Field to hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium could very well be just what he needs to get back to what he once was.
He wore No. 31, batted eighth and played right field for the Yankees in Monday’s opener of a three-game series between the teams. He finished 1-for-4 with a stolen base in New York’s 4-1 victory.
Suzuki is a career .322 hitter and former AL MVP. He has never played in the World Series and now joins the team with the best record in the majors.
“I’m going from a team having the most losses to a team with the most wins, so it’s been hard to maintain my excitement,” Suzuki said.
The Yankees felt compelled to make the move due to Brett Gardner’s elbow injury. The speedy outfielder recently suffered a setback during his rehabilitation and is likely out for the season.
“Obviously, we’re very excited to have [Suzuki]. What he brings is a speed element. He’s a tremendous hitter. And that speed element is something that we lost, really, when Gardner had surgery. This is a big day for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Suzuki has 2,533 hits in his major league career, including a record 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons. He set the single-season hit record with 262 in 2004. Prior to coming to North America, Suzuki batted .353 over nine seasons for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan.
To make room for Suzuki on the roster, DeWayne Wise was designated for assignment.
The Yankees sent prized young catcher Jesus Montero to Seattle before the season for All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda. However, Pineda suffered a shoulder injury and is out for the year.
Mitchell made his major league debut this season and pitched four games for the Yankees. Farquhar made his big league debut last year with Toronto and was claimed last month on waivers by the Yankees from Oakland.
Please stay with WFAN.com for more on this developing story …