The New York Yankees on Monday acquired iconic Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for two prospects, a stunning trade that married the most decorated franchise in the U.S. with the most famous player from the Far East.
While Ichiro, at 38 and headed for free agency, appears to be on the downside of a career that has produced 3,811 hits in Japan and the major leagues, the Yankees had sought help in the corners of their outfield. Ichiro likely will play right field regularly until Nick Swisher returns from injury and then fold into left and right.
In return, the Yankees sent right-handed pitcher D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners. Mitchell, 25, appeared in four games as a reliever with the Yankees this season and posted a 3.86 ERA. Farquhar was a June waiver claim. Neither is considered an above-average prospect.
The Yankees also received cash to offset Ichiro’s salary. He is due the prorated amount of $17 million in the final season of a five-year, $90-million contract.
The Yankees and Mariners, who this winter swapped catcher/DH Jesus Montero and pitcher Michael Pineda, begin a three-game series in Seattle on Monday night.
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