On the one hand, the trade does make sense for both sides. Ichiro's contract ends at the end of this season, and instead of letting him walk or offering arbitration, the Mariners are going to get minor-league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar in exchange for him.
Mitchell was one of the top winners in the Yankees' farm system for the past few years and the 25-year-old right-hander has big-league experience. Farquhar, also a 25-year-old right-hander, is pitching for his fourth organization in five years.
Meanwhile, Ichiro needed a change of scenery. This author had suggested he was a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Yankees are a bigger stage. He could be rejuvenated playing for a contender and using his dynamic style of play with Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira batting behind him.
His magical time in Seattle was growing stale, as the team simply could not compete. Maybe now a pennant run can spark the Ichiro of 10 years ago to play this August, September and, of course, October. And the bright spotlight of New York could show a much bigger audience what has been hidden in the Pacific Northwest.
The Yankees are not asking for a full year of great Ichiro. Just a few months to spark a lineup that was just swept by Oakland.
Which brings about a potential downside to this trade. It is a rental. The Yankees are shipping off young pitching for a player having the worst year of his career and could walk away at the end of the postseason. As I wrote earlier on Bleacher Report, the Yankees are no longer the free spenders they once were. This is probably a three-month-and-gone situation for Ichiro in the Bronx.
As for Seattle, once again, a superstar had his best years as a Mariner without winning a pennant. Ichiro joins Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez as all-time greats who never delivered a World Series to Seattle.
And the face of the franchise has gone. Felix Hernandez might not be far behind. Then again, Ichiro could always re-sign with Seattle in the offseason.
Will this trade work? Will Ichiro taste October glory? Will the Mariners discover a gem in the two players they acquired?
All that is certain is that this trade is a shocker. Aren't the surprising trades the best ones?