Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/23/12

Ichiro Suzuki is the Yankees’ newest outfielder (Photo: Billy-Ball.com)

I’m sure that my jaw wasn’t the only one that hit the floor right at six o’clock when YES Network’s Jack Curry tweeted that the Yankees had acquired one of the best outfielders of the past decade, Ichiro Suzuki, from the Seattle Mariners. This deal came completely out of left field, and at first glance, looks like a low-risk, high-reward deal which could pay off quite nicely for the Yankees. Ichiro’s contract is up after the season, and the Yankees will only have to pay $2MM on his contract over the remainder of the season.

Yankees acquire OF Ichiro Suzuki from Mariners for RHPs D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar
Suzuki has struggled mightily at the plate since the start of the 2011 season. After ten straight years of an OPS of at least .747, Ichiro posted a woeful .645 mark last season, and is currently at .642 through 95 games this season. Suzuki, who spent his first ten seasons in Major League Baseball well above .300 with his batting average, dropped to .272 last season and is currently at .261 this season. However, with Brett Gardner finished for the season and the Yankees running Raul Ibanez out to left field on a regular basis, this is a deal they had to make. Even if Ichiro is only a shell of himself at the plate, he is a significant defensive upgrade for the Yankees in the outfield. Because of the cash considerations acquired, the Yankees will pay just $2MM of his salary, and only had to give up a pair of pitchers they likely viewed as expendable.

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