When the Yankees arrived at Safeco Field Monday night for their game against the Mariners, many players didn't know that Seattle's franchise player would be joining them in the clubhouse.
That's because just hours before the game, the Yankees acquired Mariner Ichiro Suzuki in a surprise trade to give the Yankees some much-needed help in the outfield.
In return, New York sent right handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to Seattle. The Yankees will pick up $2.5 million of Ichiro's remaining salary.
New York began looking for outfield help after hearing that Brett Gardner would miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Right fielder Nick Swisher is also sidelined with a strain of his left hip flexor, though his injury is thought to be mild and he is listed as day-to-day.
The 38-year-old Ichiro has been an All-Star at the Major League level for much of the last decade. He has been selected to 10 All-Star teams, has won two batting titles (2001 and 2004), 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards. Ichiro is a career .322 hitter and holds the single-season hit record with 262 in 2004.
And in exchange for the future Hall of Famer, the Mariners get two solid prospects from the Yankees' farm system.
Mitchell is a 25-year-old Clemson grad who has appeared in four games for the Yankees this season. The starter has allowed two runs in 4.2 big-league innings coming out of the bullpen.
Mitchell struggled in Triple-A this year with what he described as mechanical issues, but he believes those problems have since been resolved. He likes to throw a sinker that induces a lot of swings and misses, while his fastball tops out in the high 80s.
Farquhar appeared in three games for the Toronto Blue Jays last year. He was claimed by the Yankees off waivers. Farquhar is a reliever with a sidearm delivery and a low-90s fastball. He has, however, struggled to throw strikes, at times, so far in his young career.