What the Ichiro trade could mean for the Yankees
When the Yankees traded for Ichiro Suzuki on July 23, I thought that it was a practical joke just like when I thought it was a practical joke when the Yankees announced they re-signed Andy Pettitte. I soon found out along with the rest of Yankees universe that the Ichiro trade was real. Brian Cashman had traded Yankees minor league pitchers D.J Mitchell and Danny Farquahr while the Mariners had sent Ichiro and cash considerations.
Ichiro is supposed to be able to provide depth to the Yankees outfield after Brett Gardner went down with a season ending injury. Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones both platooned in the beginning when Girardi thought that Gardner would miss just 2 weeks, then a month, then two months, then the whole year. After he found out that the Yankees were going to be without Gardner for the rest of the year, they acquired Ichiro to fill their problems. There’s only one small problem: Ichiro has never played a game in left field his entire career. Ichiro is primarily a right fielder which happens to be the perimeter of Nick Swisher, at least for this season.
Ichiro could change everything for the Yankees since he’s a slap hitter and has tremendous amounts of speed, but he could change things so much that the Yankees might not need Nick Swisher at the end of the season when it’s time to decide which spare parts to keep and which spare parts to let go of. A lot of things come into consideration just how much the team could change during the 2012 off-season.
When I asked around on Twitter about how Yankees fans felt about the Ichiro trade, the responses varied:
@loverofbaseball: I was surprised at first. Seemed like a no lose trade, only cost the Yankees $2 Million and minor league pitchers.
@yankeeman76: I’m so ready for Ichiro I can hardly believe it! #stoked
@gobibs: I think he’ll be a good fit
@MichaelPacholek: Getting Ichiro could be good. Giving up only 2 “Who is he?” pitchers for him helps.
@aj_rotger: Pumped. Needed the speed and OF d-fence.
@grandchief415: It’s a smart move, no-cost and he’ll be re-energized.
@JeweleeYankee: Excited!…and nervous.
The trade could be one of the biggest trades that Cashman could do during this season. It could bring some new life to the Yankees and it could help them get into the play-offs and keep their gigantic American League East lead but the Yankees might not want to get their hopes up. Ichiro has declined since 2010 and isn’t the same player he was years ago. However, he could be just as useful as the rest of the Yankees bench and could be the answer to the Yankees problems in left field, but it never hurts to think ahead into the off-season where it could be time for Cashman to decide who stays and who goes.