2012 Trade Deadline Update #2 7/23: Ichiro in Pinstripes, Anibal and Omar to the Tigers?

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Over the past few hours, a couple of big trades have gone down. Here’s my take on them: 

Ichiro to the Yankees

Wow. What a day. At about seven p.m. EDT, the Mariners and Yankees announced a swap that involved Ichiro for two minor league pitchers and cash. Sure I expected some blockbuster trades, but this? Ichiro was an icon for the Mariners. He broke the all-time hits in a season record for the Mariners and helped them win 116 games in 2001. Ichiro was an excellent player to say the least. He hit .322 over his 12 seasons with the Mariners and will most likely enter the Hall of Fame. But, over the past two years, he’s lost a little bit of luster. He’s slowed down a bit due to his age, and has stopped hitting over .300. Last year he hit .272 and had less than 200 hits for the first time in his career. This season, he’s hit an even worse .261. The Mariners have struggled over the past years and were definitely in need of a move. They acquired Jesus Montero from the Yankees this offseason in a trade for Michael Pineda, but Montero hasn’t exactly caught fire.

By trading Ichiro to the Yankees, Seattle receives pitchers Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell. This year in the Majors, Mitchell has pitched in four games and posted a 3.86 ERA in 4.2 innings. In AAA, he had a 5.04 ERA in 14 games started. Fahrquar, a career minor leaguer, has bounced from the Blue Jays to the A’s to the Yankees organizations this year and has a combined 3.33 ERA with the minor league teams. I’m not sure Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik needed to make this trade with the Mariners not getting much, but it appears that Ichiro requested it. For the first time since 2001, Ichiro will be on a contending team. If the Yankees don’t collapse, Ichiro will be able to contribute in the playoffs. This was a great trade for the Yankees and an end of an era for the Mariners.

Is this the Mariners way of repaying the Yankees back over the failed Cliff Lee trade from a previous trade deadline? Or guilt over the Montero/Pineda trade gone awry? Maybe partially. But really, this is the Mariners rewarding Ichiro for all his years of loyal service. Ichiro gets to go to a contender and likely the team of his choice. Whether Ichiro will return to Seattle in the offseason, retire, return to Japan after the year…who knows. Time will tell. But for now, we will get to enjoy Ichiro in pinstripes. It will surely take time to get used to this sight. But from a baseball perspective, this should turn out to be a big win for both Ichiro and the Yanks. Maybe now Brian Cashman will put Trader Jack’s number back in his speed dial.

Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantley, and Brian Flynn

The Marlins are obviously disappointed with their season thus far after signing Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell this offseason. Hopes were high for a good start and possibly contending at this point in the season but unfortunately this isn’t happening. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t exactly bounced back from a couple bad seasons, Jose Reyes has been hitting way below his career average, Heath Bell isn’t close to the closer that everyone was expecting, and Josh Johnson is having an off-year. This trade most likely won’t be the last of the year for the Marlins.

In this swap, the Marlins get most notably Jacob Turner, a very highly regarded pitching prospect for the Tigers. Turner got the win yesterday against the White Sox and gave up seven hits and three runs over 5.1 innings while striking out three and walking none. Just 21 years old, Turner has a bright future ahead of him and will be a good fit for the Marlins in the years to come. For the Tigers, Omar Infante will most likely hit at the bottom of the lineup and shore up their infield. Anibal Sanchez will join the rotation of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello. Sanchez should help the Tigers pull ahead of the White Sox in the AL Central and possibly go deep into the playoffs. As the Tigers try to contend in the present, this trade benefits them greatly. The A.L. Central just got a whole lot more interesting folks. Now let’s see what Kenny Williams still has up his sleeve with another week to go.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, MLB reports Intern & Facebook Administrator.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***


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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on July 23, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Next up Justin Upton and Hanley Ramirez

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