Ichiro Suzuki Trade: Grade, Analysis, Twitter Reaction to Yankees-Mariners Deal

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 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

Ichiro Suzuki has reportedly been traded to the New York Yankees, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network.

Curry tweeted Monday evening:

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

Trade Analysis

This gives the Yankees some flexibility in the outfield with left fielder Brett Gardner currently on the disabled list, while giving the struggling Mariners a couple of young arms to add to the staff.

The Mariners are once again at the bottom of the American League West this season, at 42-55, while the Yankees lead the AL East by six games with a 57-38 record thus far. Both figured to be sellers and buyers, respectively, leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.

Twitter Reaction

John Heyman of CBS Sports echoed the sentiment that a change of scenery may recharge Suzuki:

ichiro was pretty bad for #mariners this yr. maybe getting to nyc or out of safeco will provide a spark. he approved trade

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 23, 2012

Joel Sherman of the New York Post was, well, not particularly excited about the trade:

Ichiro should fit right in with #Yankees—he is hitting .175 with runners in scoring position.

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 23, 2012

Not Bill Walton took this moment to bag on Suzuki's competition for playing time in the outfield:

When Ichiro was told he's going to the Big Apple, he knew it meant New York. When Andruw Jones was told the same thing, his mouth watered.

— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) July 23, 2012

Formerly of CNBC fame, sports business reporter Darren Rovell added:

With Ichiro to the Yankees you can bet those Japanese brands that advertised with Matsui will want back in in the Bronx.

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 23, 2012

And Jimmy Traina of SI.com noted the immediate buzz that will be circulating around Seattle after the trade:

Craziest thing about Yanks getting Ichrio? Yankees are in Seattle tonight. That will be some scene.

— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) July 23, 2012

Grade for New York Yankees: B+

D.J. Mitchell had been steadily rising up the Yankees' farm system rankings, ranked by Baseball America as the club's 16th-best prospect after last season.

On the other hand, Mitchell hasn't particularly impressed in 2012, posting a 5.04 ERA in 15 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre before making the jump to the majors. In 4.2 innings for New York this season, Mitchell allowed two runs. 

Danny Farquhar has bounced around the minors since being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. He owns a career 4.08 ERA in 208 minor league games.

In that respect, the Yankees likely won't be missing both prospects very much.

Suzuki isn't the same hitter he once was, but he's a veteran and you have to believe he's going to bring his all with a shot at a World Series title.

Suzuki is batting .261 with a .288 on-base percentage this season, well below his career averages of .322 and .366, respectively. He still is a base-running threat, however, with 15 stolen bases on the year.

The Yankees have been starting Nick Swisher in right field and platooning Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in left in Gardner's absence. While all three outfielders have combined for 38 home runs thus far, none of them are hitting above .258 for the season. The Yankees could be hoping they catch lightning in a bottle when the 38-year-old Suzuki changes scenery.

Overall, it's not a bad risk for a 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover. 

Grade for Seattle Mariners: C-

I'm a bit surprised the Mariners only got Mitchell and Farquhar in return, and they even have to cough up some cash in the process.

On the outside, it looks like highway robbery—even if Suzuki has slowed down the past two seasons. It's not like Mitchell and Farquhar were budding sensations.

On the other hand, Farquhar did show signs of coming to life this year. In seven combined games for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a reliever, he didn't allow a run. He also posted a 2.97 ERA in 20 games for Double-A New Hampshire when he was still with the Blue Jays.

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