Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki, Fire Warning Shot at Orioles

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIJuly 23, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 23:  Ichiro Suzuki of the New York Yankees warms up during batting practice after being traded to the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 23, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

From Fells Point to Federal Hill, from Sparrows Point to Catonsville, the Baltimore Orioles and their fans are just starting to learn about bombshell news from Seattle.

Monday, the New York Yankees sent shockwaves through baseball by trading for Seattle Mariners All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.  

From virtually nowhere, the Yankees—swept in four games by the Oakland Athletics last weekend—sent two 25-year-old right-handed hurlers to the Mariners in exchange for Suzuki and cash. This, according to ESPN.

By making this trade, the Yanks have fired a big ole cannon warning shot from their mighty clipper ship toward Fort McCamden.

Putting sheer and utter surprise aside, I cannot help but ask why New York made this move.

Is the Yankees’ outfield corps so decimated by injury that it felt the need to make a big splash as the pennant race heats up?

With Joe Girardi and Co. losing Brett Gardner and now Nick Swisher, this is a healthy question.

Did New York simply seize on an opportunity made available to the club, right after the team’s plane reached the tarmac in the Emerald City?

Knowing the Yankees—and all the star power it loves to add to its roster—this too is entirely possible.

Or is it possible that New York feels a bit vulnerable these days, in an increasingly competitive AL East?

“Morisette, you are off your rocker on this one,” some may say. “This is the New York Yankees we are talking about here!”

To this, I say, while it is true the Yankees harbor the best record in baseball, it is indisputable that this team is peeking over its shoulder at AL East horses slowly sneaking up from the rear.

This includes the Orioles, which—despite all its flaws—have emerged as an annoying pest that simply will not die.

With the O’s having won five of their last six games, New York’s trade makes me beg a few key questions.

Will Orioles VP of Baseball Ops Dan Duquette muster his front office militiamen, and pull the rope on a trade of their own?

Or will Duquette stand pat, hold the fort and continue to grow the young talent his team currently owns?

These are very tough questions to answer, especially in the wake of a pitching staff that has come to life of late.

But with the flurry of moves made throughout baseball Monday, I cannot help feel the Orioles are turning their cannons back toward New York—ready to strike a deal.

I also cannot help but think the next few days leading to the '12 trade deadline will be one for the ages.