Ichiro Suzuki Trade: Yankees-Mariners 5 Most Significant Trades of All Time
This is the second significant trade the Yankees and Mariners have made this year, peaking curiosity as to what other meaningful trades have transpired between the two teams.
Since the Mariners have only been in existence since 1977, their trade history with the Yankees isn’t as extensive as some more seasoned teams. In a possible 35 years of trading, the two teams have made 13 trades.
The following is a list of the five most significant of those 13 trades and who came out on top.
July 23, 2012
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
The Seattle Mariners traded Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees for D.J. Mitchell, Danny Farquhar and cash.
The Yankees hope the most recent trade with the Seattle Mariners will be a shot in the arm for their team coming off the news of Brett Gardner’s season-ending surgery.
Ichiro certainly fills the hole that Gardner has left since his injury in April.
In fact, Ichiro is a perfect replacement for everything Gardner brought to the table. The Japanese star provides both superior speed (16 steals this season) and superior outfield defense (10 career Gold Gloves).
January 23, 2012
Montero has not yet lived up to expectations at the plate
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The first trade the Yankees and Mariners made this season saw the Yankees’ heralded hitting prospect, Jesus Montero, and pitcher Hector Noesi sent to Seattle in exchange for minor league pitcher, Jose Campos, and a young, talented and ultimately injured starting pitcher, Michael Pineda.
Since Pineda went down with an injury in spring training and Campos has yet to progress past Single-A in the minor leagues, any kind of production from Montero and or Noesi would determine the trade as a victory for Seattle.
Both have been contributing members to the big league club, while neither has excelled in the season so far.
However, the grade on this trade will have to be put on hold until we see what Pineda will provide for the Yankees.
If it is anything like what he showed in his rookie season for the Mariners, the Yankees may just end up with the edge.
December 7, 1995
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The best trade from a Yankees perspective out of all of these deals has to be the Tino Martinez trade.
The Seattle Mariners traded Tino Martinez, Jim Mecir and Jeff Nelson to the New York Yankees for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock.
The Yankees picked up Martinez to replace team captain and Yankee legend, Don Mattingly, at first base. Martinez ended up being a lynchpin in the Yankees' most recent dynasty, that won World Series titles in four out of five years in the late 90s.
And don’t forget about Jeff Nelson being part of the deal as well—Nelson was a vital member of the bullpen for those four championship teams, providing his trademark side-armed, right-handed throwing motion to quell any right-handed batter he faced.
July 21, 1988
The New York Yankees traded Jay Buhner, Rich Balabon and Troy Evers to the Seattle Mariners for Ken Phelps.
The Buhner trade can be summed up by Seinfeld’s infamous curmudgeon, Frank Costanza, in a quote directed at George Steinbrenner, “What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?! He had 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs last year. He's got a rocket for an arm. You don't know what the hell you're doing!”
The trade was so egregious for the Yankees that it has even become immortalized in popular culture.
Buhner went on to be a great player, eventually earning his way into the Mariners’ Hall of Fame, while Phelps was dealt to Oakland a year after the Yankees acquired him.
November 18, 1980
Brad Gulden having a meeting on the mound with Catfish Hunter and Billy Martin via Wikipedia.org
The New York Yankees traded Brad Gulden and $150,000 to the Seattle Mariners for Larry Milbourne and a player to be named later. The Seattle Mariners sent Brad Gulden back to the Yankees in May as the player to be named later.
The final trade on this list is unique because it was only the second time in major league history that a player was traded for himself.
While Gulden was traded to Seattle for a player to be named later, that player to be named later turned out to be Gulden himself.
It seems as if the Yankees got the best of the deal, receiving Larry Milbourne, $150,000 and ultimately giving up nothing, aside from a few months unaided by Gulden.