The Morning After: Ichiro!

Yanks kick off Ichiro era with win over Mariners
Revisiting the Yankees' trade deadline needs
“Dammit Ichiro, I thought I told you to trim those sideburns!” (Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

The Yankees were dealt a pretty big blow when Brett Gardner went down with likely season-ending elbow surgery last week, an injury he initially suffered back in April. They’ve done well without him but the offense has been devoid of speed and the outfield defense suffered in a big way. A replacement outfielder was definitely on the trade deadline shopping list but it wasn’t a necessity.

After fiddling around with Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise, and even Eduardo Nunez earlier in the year, the Yankees addressed the outfield situation yesterday by acquiring Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners for D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Seattle will pay all but $2.25M of his $17M salary. Ichiro will become a free agent after the season, so it’s a straight rental. As has become the tradition following notable news items, here are some scattered thoughts on the trade…

  • Machinations: Apparently Ichiro requested a trade a few weeks ago and the ball got rolling when Mariners president Chuck Armstrong called Randy Levine, which sent shivers down my spine. The trade was perfectly fine, very reasonable, but anytime those above the baseball operations department get involved, I get nervous.
  • Expectations: I don’t expect very much from Ichiro the rest of the way — maybe he gets the batting average up to .300 (and his OBP up to .330) by being platooned properly and he winds up stealing a bunch of bases. Yankee Stadium won’t help him much because he’s a ground ball hitter, not a guy who lifts the ball in the air to the pull side. Perhaps joining a contender bring his bat back to life and maybe his career-low .279 BABIP corrects. Either way his primary value will come on defense, on the bases, and by putting the ball in play. The Yankees have lacked that.
  • Left or Right: Given his throwing arm, it would make sense to put Ichiro in right and shift Nick Swisher to left. Then again, there is more ground to cover in left field in Yankee Stadium. Ichiro hasn’t played left in more than a decade, so that will take an adjustment. I’m not exactly sure which corner would be best for him, but I feel like there is no wrong answer.
  • Durability: One of Ichiro’s underrated skills — and it is a skill — is his durability. He missed a little more than two weeks with an ulcer in 2009 but otherwise has never been on the DL since coming over from Japan. He’s played in 159 games and led the league in at-bats in eight of the last nine seasons. This is a guy who is used to playing the outfield everyday and is more suited to do so than Ibanez, Jones, or anyone on the roster not named Curtis Granderson or Swisher.
  • Marquee Value: Like Derek Jeter, Ichiro is the rare player with legitimate marquee value. He’s going to help sell merchandise, put butts in the seats, and drive up YES Network ratings. That value is generally overstated — he’s not going to pay for himself or anything — but it is real and should not be neglected. He’s going to bring a definite buzz to the team, some of which we saw last night.
  • The Return: With all due respect to Farquhar, Mitchell was the real loss for the Yankees. I always considered him a swingman/long reliever type and the Yankees seemed to feel the same way, but there is value in that as long as he’s cheap. David Phelps pushed Mitchell down the totem pole a bit and the presence of Adam Warren in Triple-A and Brett Marshall in Double-A made him expendable. I would have rather given up Warren — hence my post-draft prospect rankings — but it’s not a huge difference.
  • Pitching Depth: Mitchell was the next-in-line whenever the Yankees needed an arm from Triple-A, so I suppose that duty now falls on the shoulders of Warren.  He was obviously terrible in his big league debut, but one appearance doesn’t define a career. Behind him you have Cory Wade as a call-up option and that’s really it as far as 40-man roster candidates go. The Yankees work the waiver wire and scrap heap as well as anyone, so I bet they pluck an arm of two off waivers for depth in the coming weeks.
  • Roster Spots: The Yankees currently have ten (!) players on the 60-day DL and will need to clear room for these guys at some point. Yesterday’s moves cleared two spots — Mitchell’s and Wise’s — but one went to Ichiro. They have one open spot at the moment and with any luck, it will go to Joba Chamberlain when he’s activated in a week or two. Moving Mitchell helped clear up a logjam of sorts, albeit very slightly.
  • Miscellany: The Yankees replaced the 34-year-old Wise with the 38-year-old Ichiro, let’s stop acting like the roster got lifetimes older … I hope Ichiro goes on to have a monster David Justice-esque second half but the Yankees don’t trick themselves into thinking he’s worth a spot on next year’s team as a stopgap outfielder … how about Farquhar? Dude went from waiver claim and being designated for assignment twice this season to being traded for a future Hall of Famer … I’m still in awe that Brian Cashman and the Yankees in general are able to make all these significant moves completely under-the-radar, there are no leaks whatsoever. This came out of the blue.

The Yankees plugged a relatively small hole with a move that was notable only because it involved a historic player. Ichiro is obviously well past his prime and any thoughts of a revival are wishcasting at its finest. He can still be useful on defense and on the bases, but the Yankees will wisely bat him near the bottom of the lineup. Ichiro’s a fun and entertaining player, and sure hope the Yankees can help get him that World Series ring he surely covets.

Yanks kick off Ichiro era with win over Mariners
Revisiting the Yankees' trade deadline needs
  • 28 this year

    As a fan, this is just incredibly fun to see this. Any change is always fun to see and at least this one isn’t really that consequential if it doesn’t work. Also, the defense and speed is there regardless of offensive struggles so at the very least, Ichiro will have some positive value.

    • Dave M

      Yes this move shouldn’t set the Yanks back years like the last trade with Seattle.

  • Eddard

    I wouldn’t surprised if we went on another winning streak now that we’ve obtained another future hall of famer. Cashman must have sensed that we were in a lull after losing 4 straight one run games so he went out and energized the club with this pick up. What wasn’t mentioned in the article is that Ichiro can manufacture a run when we need it, such as in the Oakland series. He will be energized by winning a ring.

    • 28 this year

      the timing of this move isn’t related to the 4 game losing streak. This is something they were considering for a quite a while and it just so happens that everythign got done today.

      • Strat

        I suspect that this probably gained some momentum when it became obvious that Gardner was done for the year. The rumors about Seattle possibly moving him to a contender have been around for awhile, but Gardy’s final setback probably set things in motion.

      • Broll The American

        Any thought that it was orchestrated to happen when the Yanks reached Seattle?

    • Ted Nelson

      The Yankees are a far better baseball team than the Mariners. They had very good odds of beating the Mariners without Ichiro.

    • Slu

      Suzyn is that you? The gushing over Ichiro during last night’s radio broadcast was something else, that is for sure.

      • Robinson Tilapia


        • jjyank


        • Erica

          HAHAHAHAHA. Well done, sir.

      • Dave M

        At least he wasn’t in Steinbrenner’s box.

  • the Other Steve S.

    This is as close to a direct replacement for GArdner as could be done for half a year. Amazing. Also, I sure hope Joba replaces Qualls. An empty roster spot actually has more value than Qualls.

  • blake

    2012 WAR

    Ichiro 1.8
    Swisher 1.7

    Shows how much weight questionable defensive metrics attribute to WAR…..however Ichiro does still play great D and steal bases… if he can turn back the clock at the plate for a couple of months then the Yanks could havr really made a nice move here….certainly worth what they gave up to find out.

  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    His home/road splits are massive.

    .296/.313/.399- Away
    .214/.255/.289- Home

    Getting out of SafeCo will do wonders for him.

    • viridiana

      His splits vs. leftiesw/righties also suggest he can be much better than his numbers this year show– not to mention that low BABIP. Has also mashed in YS3. Tremendous potential here for upside surprise.

      And this: Eveyone loves to hate on Randy Levine. But considering he got us Soriano (who has probably saved the season) and now Ichiro, maybe he should get some love (Doubt this will happen).

      • MannyGeee

        you are forgetting one thing: its not like EVERYONE hated the Soriano signing, but undoubtedly EVERYONE hates that contract. its an absolute mess, and all the Levine did was outbid himself for a closer no one else was trying to sign.

        That said, safe to say we are all pretty content with having Soriano, especially how this season has turned out and his performance thus far.

        • viridiana

          No reason to hate the contract when it provided invaluable back-up for your most indispensable player and saves your season. I don’t know who or what the Yankees were bidding against. But I thought it was a good deal at the time (saying so more than once on this site). Yanks have numerous overpaid players — and few are worth as much as back-up to Mo who has actually filled the bill.

          • MannyGeee

            3 years with 2 player opt outs? In mid January when he was sitting on the shelf with no ‘real’ suitors? He was not overpaid so much in $$$ but the contract was a mess. In hindsight, it looks pretty fiar, but still…

            • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

              The contract is moot since it didn’t preclude the Yankees from signing any other player but the narrative here is everyone hates Levine so why deviate now.

              • mac


              • The Ghost of Joe Dugan

                You know that for a fact do you?

    • Thomas

      Last year Ichiro had a .291 wOBA at home and .287 on the road. This season he 17.9% IFFB rate at home and 5.6% on the road. The home road splits this year seem more fluky than anything. He just isn’t that good anymore.

      Ichiro’s real problm is he hasn’t hit lefties at all this year so hopefully a platoon will help him out.

    • Matt DiBari

      That’s certainly encouraging. Not that four AB matters, of course, but do those road splits count last night at Safeco or were theyfrom yesterday?

    • gc

      I noticed that too. If we could get anything near those non-Safeco numbers out of him from here on out (plus his typical good defense, arm, and speed contributions), I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be thrilled.

      • MannyGeee

        and dont forget the additional presents!

  • DERP

    Who gets the majority of the ABs against righties once Swisher comes back: Chavez or Ibanez?

    • DERP

      as the DH

      • Nick

        Got to be Ibanez, no? Chavez has done well, but you don’t want to push him. He’ll still be a fill in at 3B or 1B.

        • MannyGeee

          and when you say ‘fill in at 1B-3B’, you are still talking about 1-2 games a week easily. so it will not be a major drop off in playing time for him.

      • DM

        I’m sure they’ll still do a lot of mixing, matching, playing hot hands and resting players at DH or on the bench. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stretched this Swisher rehab a little longer too. It’s better that Ichiro can transition to the Yankees while still playing RF initially. To make sure his injury is completely healed, Swish might DH himself before returning to the OF. And neither Jones or Ibanez will be banned from the OF — esp when/if the Yankees pull away in the standings. They now have back the increased flexibility they lost when Gardner went down.

    • Slugger27

      ibanez… i think he’ll be the DH whenever a righty starts. chavez’s playing time will be the most affected, in my opinion.

  • Klemy

    The realist in me thinks it’s a helpful move in ways, but probably not a large impact, while the fan in me is very excited about it.

    I’m not one who is strictly a numbers guy, because too many elements can be questioned, the whole not in a vaccuum thing. Bottom line is there is no guarantee he can’t be productive regardless of recent performances. Just insisting that he won’t play well is just as irrational and insisting he will.

    Let the guy play ball and let’s have fun rooting for a future hall of famer who is trying to win a championship is his final years, rather than beating him over the head with a sabre-metric stick every damned day.

    • Darren

      Don’t expect nuance and subtlety from the majority of people who post here. They think the game is played inside a calculator.

      • Ted Nelson

        Because there’s no nuance or subtlety in statistics?

        Statistics is all about nuance and subtlety, and no one who knows anything about statistics would tell you it can be used to predict the future. It can be used to approximate the likelihood of various outcomes based on historical precedences, though. Statistical and “traditional” analysis inform one another, there is no necessary division.

        • Darren

          The majority of the time, the posters here see everything very black and white. Look at the numbers – and only the numbers – and you act accordingly. OBVIOUSLY playing the game without the use of advanced metrics is stupid, but going all the way in the other direction is just as stupid.

          • Ted Nelson

            That’s a pretty huge generalization.

            People usually write a few line responses here, so subtlety isn’t really going to happen. Certain disclaimers just go without saying when citing stats. Stats are indisputable, though, in terms of referencing them. Whereas personal analysis from anonymous strangers doesn’t hold much water. People do throw out a lot of personal analysis on here if you actually read the site, but if you’re debating something that’s a lot less convincing. “I think he does this well,” “well, I don’t.” Not going to go anywhere. “I think he does this well and here are the stats to back it up.” That’s an argument with legs.

            Over a large enough sample historical stats are going to provide a good indication of what to expect going forward, accounting for the age curve, ballpark, trends unique to a given player, etc. There are plenty of exceptions, but you can make pretty decent predictions off stats alone.

            People on here also don’t have the resources to watch thousands of games to track players throughout professional baseball. Teams do. Nor do we have the resources to even track a lot of the stats we’d like to. We expect that there’s a lot more analysis of all kinds going on with MLB clubs.

            • Klemy

              All true. I know these responses aren’t directed to me. Just to clear, I’m not trying to generalize or say that statistics don’t mean anything.

              My post was only as a mention that we’re not always correct about predictions made using statistics and bludgeoning a guy who is here for a couple months is a bit of an overreaction.

              I do tend to agree with Darren that some people here do carry the black and white too far at times, just as a general statement. There is room for gray between them is all I’m trying to say.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            This coming from the guy who said it’d be some sort of national nightmare if Ichiro didn’t bat leadoff.

            I agree with Ted in that there’s nuance in stats, and I agree with you in that SOMETIMES it gets taken to an all-or-nothing place here. I just feel you’re doing exactly the same thing right now.

            • Darren

              No, I didn’t think it was a national nightmare, I just thought that Girardi missed a chance to do something that had some obvious upside and zero downside.

              Just like dropping Posada to 9th could have waited one or two days. Look at the shit storm that created for no reason.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I don’t have the time to go back and repost what you wrote, but it wasn’t “I think he missed a chance….”

              • Ted Nelson

                The downside is that you give PAs to a bad hitter and take them away from a good hitter.

                • Darren

                  We’re not talking about having him hit leadoff for the rest of the year. We’re talking about one game, when one of the best hitters in baseball history was traded and plays against his former team.

                  One AB, max, Ted.


                  I don’t think that’s a huge sacrifice to make in order to try and boost Ichiro’s confidence and show that the Yankees respect what he’s done.

                  Hopefully that pays dividends for the rest of the year. Even if it pumps him up by 1%, it’s a great R.O.I.

                  That’s the upside. If you’re really going to argue that ONE AT BAT isn’t worth taking a chance on, there’s nothing left for me to say to you.

      • RI$P FTW

        They also think Avatar and Batman are ‘great’ films.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Fortunately no one here is very condescending.

        • Dave M

          The Batman movies were pretty good.Entertaining enough for me. Avatar just wasn’t for me.

    • 7commerce

      Here, here!!!

      • MattG

        grammar ftw

  • Cam

    That durability skill almost went out the window with that slide last night when he stole that base. He was so intent on getting there it looked like he almost strained an ankle or pulled a groin!

  • Betty Lizard

    It was exciting watching Ichiro’s metamorphosis into a Yankee–and there might have even been a tear at the standing ovation.

    Will the drag bunt be the new homer?

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what Ichiro will do.

  • Ted Nelson

    You’re not going to have a trade with that much money being eaten without guys on the finance side getting involved. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Levine made the call on who to give up. I have no idea who made what call, but Levine being involved in a trade where that much money had to be negotiated isn’t a surprise to me.

    One thing I haven’t really thought about is 40-man spots this summer. Between DL guys and Rule 5 guys, Mitchell or someone who isn’t much worse might have felt the squeeze this summer anyway. Not sure, though.

    • Steve (different one)

      Posted this in the other thread: cash was on boomer & carton this morning. He said Armstrong initially called Levine and Levine brought it to Cashman. Cashman said he didn’t know Ichiro had requested a trade until the press conference.

    • thenamestsam

      The reality is that for as much as we love to talk about “Levine moves” and “Cashman moves” and try to figure out who is responsible for what decisions we really have very little idea of what the actual functioning of the Yankees organization looks like. It’s a huge organization with a lot of smart (and less smart) people working for it. There probably aren’t any decisions that really boil down to one person.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

        People need to keep track of who made what moves so they can vilify Levine and protect or pour accolades on Cashman depending on how the trades work out.

      • Ted Nelson


  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Swish in left? Please, that’s a joke. Gotta put Ichiro out there. Ichiro also strikes out at about a 10% clip!. He is the perfect player for our needs on offense. He keeps himself in great shape and will have very little pressure offensively compared to Seattle and Safeco.

    Durability, spark of playing for a first place team, speed, arm, contact, experience, maturity. Love the trade.

    As for a “down” year, Jeter sucked a little while ago and we all (including me) thought he was done.

    • CS Yankee

      Good to see a reply from you.

      Swish’s quick, wounded duck throws from left might be better suited for a Arod throw to the dish though. I’d play Swish in LF in Fenway for sure.

      Montero will rise again, he is getting some reps at the plate (37 games so far) and seems to be pressing a bit at the dish. FWIW, I’d take Jeet pegging out at DJ3.75K; if your having some kind of pool.

      • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

        Fenway maybe but Swish is our slowest defender. On the other hand we have survived Ibanez and he sucks in LF too.

        Montero is 22 years old. Still think he has tremendous upside especially when he learns to stay off outside breaking balls.

        I agree on DJ. 3.75K just doesn’t cut it for a handle though.

    • MidlandTX

      Without making excuses for obviously declining performance in the long run, it’s a very fair point to mention the offensive pressure on him from the start of this year. The Mariners and Wedge asked some weird stuff from him.

      They dropped him to 3rd in the order to start the year and essentially asked him to hit for more power and drive in more runs (with Chone Figgins leading off!) instead of doing his table-setter lead-off thing. While the guy has a little power, it isn’t really his game to swing for the fences. Having some other superstars to share the pressure should help him greatly.

  • BK2ATL

    It was a great deal by Ninja Cashman. I don’t think anyone had any idea that this was going on, esp. over the past few weeks. We got what we needed and didn’t give up very much to do so.

    Crazy how Seattle’s been our most active recent trade partner, considering the Cliff Lee debacle and Pineda/Campos for Montero & Noesi deals.

    Testament to the secrecy of Yankees’ operations and the credibility of the “source” brothers. You know those guys, Reliable Source, Credible Source, Close Source….

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Looking at what was given up for him, I think it would have been hard for the team to do any better. While there’s no guarantee he’ll perform as well as Gardner would have had he remained healthy this season, I think there’s a pretty good chance he provides a nice spark to this team due to his speed & defense. I’m hopefull he’ll pick up his offense a bit for the remainder of the season.

      • BK2ATL

        I don’t think the idea is to “replace” Gardner, more like to replace/alleviate LF from Ibanez/Jones so that they can rest more going down the stretch. We will need them at full strength going into the postseason.

        He also provides a capable and possibly motivated bottom of the lineup option. He can still work counts, take walks, slap the ball all over the field, and steal bases when he wants. The lineup turnover to Jeter just became more interesting to watch and difficult to plan against. I have a feeling that Granderson’s RBI numbers will go up.

        Lastly, this might be an audition for 2013 for him. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, it’s possible that Cashman could sign him up for RF next year at a reasonable cost, less than what Swisher or Melky will go for in FA.

        Great move by Cashman.

        • Ted Nelson

          I agree with some of what you said, but Ichiro is about as bad at taking walks as anyone is baseball. There are all of 6 qualifying guys who draw fewer walks.

          • BK2ATL

            I guess I’m being optimistic, but I’m betting on him now not having to carry the pathetic Seattle offense will only improve the selection of pitches that he will now see.

            You’re looking at numbers in a bubble. His previous situation warrants more scrutiny, outside of the numbers. We should start the Ichiro slate as of last night, when he was in a competent offensive lineup. I’m predicting a rejuvenation of his numbers across the board.

            • Ted Nelson

              No. Ichiro was in Seattle when they had a good offense. He was there for 11 years and played in Japan before that. It’s possible, but extremely unlikely that he suddenly radically changes his approach. Even in his prime, he was just not a walker. He had one season above the high 6s in BB%.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Other than the walks, yes, I agree with you.

          Even Kay said it best: They don’t need him to be vintage Ichiro. They just need him to be one of nine. I’m hopeful he can be that and really plug that LF hole out there the rest of the season.

          • BK2ATL

            I could be wrong on the walks. I will say that his OBP will certainly go up.

            Offensively, I do think that he’ll definitely benefit from the protection in this lineup. That’s why I think we should reset his numbers to zero, and start from last night. He will slap the ball to all fields, with the occasional pop, then wreak havoc on the bases in front of Jeter and Granderson.

            Defensively, he can play all 3 positions at an above average level. Granderson gets relief more often. He can fill in for Swisher some days in RF. LF is where he should play as his speed and arm will be an asset to the defense.

            Yeah, not the vintage edition, but he can now just be 1 of 9, rather than the savior of Seattle.

    • CS Yankee

      I’m still thinking the Pineda/Campos deal works out well for us, and also feel that Montero will rake in a few years.

      Smoak though, that kid looks bad, real bad.

      • BK2ATL

        No, I do still think it was a great move by Cashman. I think both teams will benefit from that trade in the near future.

        Pineda will return next year and hopefully get back to pitching as we all expected. Campos is talented and appeared to be a steal. Montero can hit. I think the adjustment will come next year.

        Yeah, Smoak hasn’t lived up to much yet. I’m wondering how much longer before they pull the plug and start working in Montero there more.

        • Ted Nelson

          Adjustment seems to have come over the last month for Montero. Who knows if it will last, but he’s having a strong month.

          • BK2ATL

            Isn’t he normally a stronger 2nd half player anyway???

            I’m more referring to the adjustment of acknowledging how they are pitching to him now. Now that he’s had 1/2 season under his belt, there is something to scout and a plan of attack against him. While he had a hot week, he was a pretty easy out last night, chasing balls way out of the strike zone. But then again, so was most of the rest of Seattle’s lineup.

            I’m hoping he picks it up….after we’re gone.

            • Ted Nelson

              He was an easy out for 1 game? You know that Votto has o-ferrs, right?

              • BK2ATL

                Look at his entire season. You said he’s had a strong month, in reality, it’s only been a week.

  • Nick

    Would it of been better to just call up fukudome??

    • Steve (different one)

      Depends. If they get road Ichiro on the road and something better than road Ichiro at home (because YS3 is friendlier to LHers than a composite of all other stadiums), I think Ichiro is pretty clearly a better player.

      I don’t necessarily agree with Mike that the stadium wont help him because he slaps the ball on the ground. He will occasionally turn on an inside pitch and try to pull it (obviously this is one AB but think of the walk off he hit off Mo 2-3 years ago). Almost like Damon, if he gets a pitch he may try for the short porch. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits a handful of HRs in YS3.

      • MannyGeee

        Damon had a shit-ton more power, but yeah, I get the correlation you are making there. Ichiro certainly can run intoi an inside pitch occasionaly and give it a ride.

      • The Ghost of Joe Dugan

        I have never seen a pitch that far inside hit like Ichiro hit that. It seemed like he was thinking, “He’s going cutter inside on this pitch…I’m going to mentally shift the plate 6 inches inside.”



  • A.D.

    Interesting that Ichiro’s LD rate is up this year, but that hasn’t helped him in anyway

  • CS Yankee

    This could just be the best “dead cat bounce” of all-time.

    He seemed to bring a Grit’ type performance…reading some M’s comments are kinda sad…they seem to be giving him what a lot of guys here do to Jeet. Getting old isn’t graceful, as fans we need to appreciate them a bit more, IMHO, as they have done some great stuff in this game.

    I’d play him in RF in Fenway (and perhaps a few other parks) as Swish could handle that LF easily.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Yeah, I’m hopefull that they use him to his best advantage by playing him in LF at home and picking and choosing when to use him in RF on the road based on the park’s nuances.

    • Slugger27

      how is this a dead cat bounce? he’s hitting worse than last year.

    • Klemy

      What you said is a better version of what I tried to get across earlier in the thread. Kudos.

  • jim p

    Center? I can see him there and giving Granderson days off now and then.

    • MannyGeee

      Ichiro needs to give Granderson a day off. srsly, he’s got to be wiped

  • Big Jim Walewander

    The frontman for The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie just released a song he wrote years ago about Ichiro. I think I’m going to be disappointed if fans don’t start chanting the chorus for him.

    Ichiro’s Theme

  • roadrider

    I hate it. I have always disliked Suzuki for the pretentious one-name bullshit and have never been a big fan of his game even when he was in his prime (little power, doesn’t walk). How much “speed and defense” can he contribute at 38 yrs old? This is reminiscent of the Pudge Rodriguez deal in 2008.

    It wouldn’t break my heart to see Suzuki turn out to be major flop and get DFAd. And if they even THINK about bringing him back next season I’ll go on strike as a fan.


    • jjyank

      I doubt he comes back next year, but if he does, that likely means he played well. And you’d go on “strike”? Wow.

      He did steal a base last night pretty handily, so there’s obviously some speed there still.

      • MannyGeee

        what do you think his picket signs will read? This could be a fun game

    • Slugger27

      you really don’t think he can provide speed and defense? in what universe is he not a huge upgrade speed wise and defensively over ibanez/andruw?

      • roadrider

        Those guys are MUCH better hitters and aren’t egomaniacs.

        • Get Phelps Up

          and aren’t egomaniacs.

          Didn’t Ichiro OK a trade to the Yankees knowing he wouldn’t play nearly as much of a role as he did in Seattle?

          • jjyank

            Yeah really. What evidence do we have that he’s going to be some sort of clubhouse cancer? He accepted a trade knowing he’d have a reduced role, didn’t fuss about changing his number…seems fine to me so far.

          • MannyGeee

            actually, if you want to get technical, reports are saying he actually asked the Mariners to make him availible for trade if it would help the team and give the young guys some opportunities.

            Within the press release, Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln revealed that Ichiro requested the trade:

            “Several weeks ago, Ichiro Suzuki, through his long time agent, Tony Attanasio, approached Chuck Armstrong and me to ask that the Mariners consider trading him. Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop.

            but nah, narrative is that Ichiro is an egomanicial douche, so lets roll with it.

            • BK2ATL


    • Ted Nelson

      Whoa… just whoa

    • Rooting for U.S. Steel

      I don’t think you’ll have to worry about Ichiro using his first name on the back of his Yankees jersey…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Go ahead and go on strike now. Really. There’s the door.

      • Rooting for U.S. Steel

        If it ain’t started by Sally Fields, it ain’t a strike.

        • Rooting for U.S. Steel

          “Ms. Fields will let you know when it’s a strike, young man.”

      • roadrider

        Fuck off.

        • jjyank


        • MannyGeee

          who can argue with that logic?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Not me.

    • A.D.

      Never seen a lot of proof that he’s an egomaniac, and I believe he went with Ichiro on the back to avoid confusion/jokes since there would have been Suzuki and Sasaki on the same team

  • jjyank

    I like the trade. I think Ichiro could provide a nice spark for the offense, even if he is declining. I’d like to see him bat 9th like Gardner did though.

    Also, I think he’d be best suited in left. Maybe the arm isn’t as useful there, but I’m not sure if Swisher can handle left as well.

  • RI$P FTW

    My new iSuz works really well! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

  • Chris

    I think we as a group are underestimating his power. Yea he is a 38 year old average focused hitter but it was always known that he has the power to hit 20 HR’s a year, but he chose not to and focus on hitting the ball up the middle. He also played in a huge stadium where lifting the ball would only benifit guys like A-Rod and Cano. The 15-20 HR guy would record more outs than hits if they went for the fences in Safeco. In Yankee Stadium I can see him taking a few more shots down the RF line and trying to get a few HR’s. If he hits .290, steals 20 bases and scores about 50-75 runs the rest of the way how can that not be anything but an upgrade even from Gardner?

    • BK2ATL

      I’m not part of that group. He has power, but CHOSE not to focus on that in favor of trying to put the ball in play more. I think he’ll only benefit from playing in our lineup.

      I’m not concerned about his age as others here. This isn’t a Matsui or Damon case we’re talking about. He still has legitimate speed and defense talents. At the plate, he is capable and competitive.

      Out of the 9th spot, where I really think he should hit now, he will only see better pitches in front of Jeter. But I also understand Girardi’s wanting to break up the Jones/Martin and possibly Stewart combo at the bottom of the lineup vs. LH.

      Those numbers are a little bit of reach, but I think approx. .280/.340/.400/.700 with 5-7 HRs, 40-45 runs, 15-20 SBs are more within reach in this lineup with about 66 games left to go.

    • Jim Is Bored

      He always claimed he had the power to hit 20 HR’s a year.

  • pat

    Most importantly, his name is easily chanted for the Creatures.

    • BrooklynRats

      WHat about Sterlings home-run call be for Ichiro?

  • MannyGeee

    OK I am genuinely excited about seeing Ichiro playing in pinstripes, albeit for 3 months and as a shell of his former self. HE will be a great fill in, and cost NOTHING. and the Mariners are throwing in money? just awesome…

    Not gonna wow anyone with his power, but he might have a nice little go with setting the table for the big guns (if Girardiwould bat him in the Gardy spot #9)…

    • MannyGeee

      not to mention the defense and arm that Ibanez lacks. Ibanez has been cool and all, but he can be a liability. Ichiro will mitigate that, and all for a AAA arm and $2M.

    • Ted Nelson

      You’re being completely ridiculous

  • Joey H.

    Here’s just an interesting couple questions I have for you folks.

    Do you think Ichiro was hell-bent on joining the Yankees and that’s why Cash was able to keep it so quiet?

    If he wasn’t do you think there just wasn’t a lot of interest in him?

    I don’t think so given that the M’s ate a lot of his salary according to Rosenthal.

  • Deep Thoughts

    He said he was looking for a “different kind of stimulation” and he heard Hideki Matsui had good experiences in the Bronx. Many happy endings.

  • Dave M

    Wasn’t Farquhar in the movie Shrek?

  • Ichy and Irok heltow no 28

    This will be the move that will be talked about most after we win the W.S.
    Ichiro will shine in post season and beat up the Angels,Rangers,Braves.
    This will make ESPN very sad.

  • Ichy and Irok hello to number 28

    Also the reemergence of Joba , who will be the man who gets the big Ks.