New York Yankees Reportedly Acquire Ichiro Suzuki in Trade from Seattle Mariners

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJuly 23, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 22:  Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the  Seattle Mariners runs to first base after a bunt in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays July 22, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have made the decision to bring in some outfield help after reportedly losing Brett Gardner to potentially season-ending elbow surgery (via ESPN).

According to YES Network's Jack Curry, the Yankees made the first blockbuster trade of July:

The Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki for RHPs DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar, a source said. Yanks also get undisclosed cash in deal.

— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 23, 2012

There were some grumblings about Ichiro Suzuki being New York-bound, but this news will come as a surprise to many fans on both the East and West Coast.

The Seattle Mariners official Twitter account confirmed the reports:

#Mariners acquire RHP D.J. Mitchell & RHP Danny Farquhar from Yankees in exchange for Ichiro Suzuki. More on Mariners.com

— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 23, 2012

Suzuki, who is in the final year of his contract, has played for the Mariners since coming to MLB from Japan before the 2001 season. In 11-plus seasons, the Japanese star has hit .322, played in 10 All-Star games, won 10 Gold Gloves and set the record for most hits in a single season with 262 in 2004.

Last season, the 38-year-old outfielder showed signs of regression, hitting a career-low .272. One season after he was unable to reach the 200-hit mark for the first time in his career, Ichiro is hitting .261 with 105 hits, 49 runs and 15 stolen bases in 2012.

Those numbers are going to increase significantly if he plays full time for the Yankees. Even with the lowly Mariners, who are 13 games under .500 and in last place in the AL West, Ichiro has been mildly productive.

Once he enters the Yankees star-studded lineup, he's likely to look more like the Ichiro of old.

New York will send D.J. Mitchell, its former "Minor League Pitcher of the Year" to the Mariners, who are looking for some young talent to build on in the future.

Danny Farquhar will be joining Mitchell. The 25-year-old reliever was claimed by the Yankees on June 26 after the Oakland Athletics designated him for assignment (via MLB.com). 

If nothing else, this trade makes for an interesting second half, as the entire baseball world will be looking forward to seeing what the Yankees' newest acquisition can bring to the team.