With just nine days until the Major League Baseball trading deadline the New York Yankees made a big splash by adding outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees acquired the 10 time All-Star late Monday afternoon from the Seattle Mariners, just hours before the two teams were scheduled to begin a three game series.
There is no doubt that Ichiro is on the downside of his career, but he still fills a need for the Yankees. With Brett Gardner out for the rest of the season and Nick Swisher injured, the Yankees needed another outfielder. Ichiro can still play solid defense and he has a very good arm. He may not be the hit machine he was earlier in his career, but he still is hitting around .260 and can steal a base as well.
This is also just a short term deal for the Yankees. Ichiro will become a free agent at the end of this season, so in essence he is just a pricey two moth rental. Thankfully the Yankees only gave up two middling prospect in Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell to the Mariners.
The deal brings up three questions in my mind. First where in the order will Ichiro bat? Derek Jeter has been leading off all season long, a spot that Ichiro usually filled with Seattle.
Second what number will Ichiro wear? We wore number 51 in his 11 plus seasons with the Mariners but that number was worn by Bernie Williams, a lifelong Yankee with a very solid career.
Last on the list is where will Ichiro play once Swisher returns to the lineup? I personally would put Ichiro in right because he has a much better arm than Swisher. I don't believe it would bother Swisher too much. He seems like the easygoing type that would put the team's interests in front of his own.
One thing I am not concerned about is Ichiro handling being in New York. He is a rock star in Japan and has had a media throng following his every move throughout his career. If anyone can handle the extra stress the Big Apple brings it is Ichiro.
In the end the Yankees brought in a big name that has slipped some in recent years. We will find out if he has anything left in the tank. A move to New York and a pennant race may be what he needs to rekindle some of his former magic.
Darren Pare is a third generation Yankees fan. The unique thing is that he lives in the middle of Red Sox nation, Maine, and has for all his life and that gives him a different perspective. You can follow him on Twitter @dpare71 or on Facebook.
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