By The Big Ragu
NFL PRO ZACH Staff Writer
The Yankees have acquired outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitching prospects DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar plus cash considerations. I know the name sounds exciting but is Ichiro the same player he once was in 2004 when he set the single season hit record with 262 hits ? He comes to the Yankees with 2533 hits for his Major League career. This season the 10 time All-Star 38 year old Ichiro is hitting .261 with 4 homeruns, 28 RBIs with an OBP of .288. He's got to get that on-base percentage up for sure. In 2010 he hit .315 and in 2009 he hit .352. Last year he hit .272 for the season. Is he at the latter stages of his career or did he just become complacent in Seattle ? I know in yesterday's blog I said that if the Yankees were going to make a move they needed to get younger. Ichiro is in the last year of five year deal worth $ 90 milion dollars. He is a free agent at the end of the season. Is this a deal where the Yankees are trying to catch lighting in a bottle or will they resign him next year ? Who knows and who cares. Maybe I'm caught up in the hype because of the name but I'm going to take the glass half full side this time and say he got bored and lost interest losing year after year in Seattle so I think coming to New York will revitalize his career. I feel that the thought of winning a championship will motivate him and I expect him to hit .300 by the time this season is over. He can still run and still bases. So even if he isn't the same hitter he once he's a great outfielder with a rocket arm so at the very least this is a significant up grade defensively and he will save some runs and win some games defensively for sure. The other side of this deal is he's going to play rightfield ? Does Nick Swisher move to left ? Swisher has sat out the last couple of games and it is reported he will miss this Seattle series. Is Swisher's mild hip flexor strain more serious than the Yankees are reporting ? Is this why they made the deal for Ichiro ? Only time will tell. By the way the Yankees/Mariner press conference is on my TV in the background. The Yankees are playing in Seattle tonight so I'm sure it will be awkward for him when he walks into the clubhouse at Safco Field tonight. Where will he hit in the lineup ? First, second, ninth ? Jeter is our leadoff hitter. I'm sure Ichiro will not be happy hitting at the bottom so I say hit him second. If Derek gets on base Ichiro can bunt or pull one through the right side. Hey maybe the Yankees will start running more instead of relying on the long ball !! What number will he where 51 ? Bernie Williams was # 51 he can't have that uniform. In the deal the Yankees gave up six foot right hander DJ Mitchell. At Triple-A Scranton Mitchell was 6-4 with a 5.04 ERA. In 14 starts he threw 82.2 innings and had 72 strike outs, 29 walks and had a WHIP of 1.33 while giving up 8 homeruns. There's not much to report about 5' 9" right handed pitching prospect Danny Farquhar. His minor league career consists of time with the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics. He led the Blue Jays system in 2009 with 22 saves. For his career he is 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA. In 51.1 innings he had 54 strike outs while walking 19. As usual the trade rumors that are talked about are never the ones that happen. This one definitely flew under the radar. If Ichiro goes 0 for 4 tonight I'll say like most Yankees fans it was a dumb deal but if he gets a couple hits and throws out a runner at home plate tonight it was the greatest deal ever made. Honestly like I said I'm pumped up about the deal but that tends to happen when big names are involved but we'll see how it turns out. If the Yankees get to the promise land of the World Series and win then it was worth it making the trade. Go Ichiro and Go Yankees !!!