Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters last week that he didn't expect the team to make any big moves before the July 31 trading deadline.
So much for that.
The Yankees acquired Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners before the two teams squared off Monday, the teams confirmed. (The game ended too late for this edition.)
The deal sends the 38-year-old outfielder to the Bombers in exchange for minor-league pitchers Danny Fahrquhar and D.J. Mitchell.
The right fielder is hitting .261 this season after finishing at .272 last season. But even with those down years, Ichiro has a career .322 average with a .366 on base percentage. With 438 career steals, Ichiro will fill the speedster role of the injured Brett Gardner, who's likely out for the season.
"He's done some great things in the league," Derek Jeter told MLB.com. "Offense, defense, there's a lot of different ways he can beat you. He's been as consistent as anyone."
Ichiro has scored 49 runs, while posting 15 doubles, four home runs, 28 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Starting in 2001, his first year in the big leagues, Ichiro began a stretch of 10 straight seasons in which he had at least 200 hits, with the streak ending last year when he had 184. Ichiro's 2,533 career hits are the most by any player through his first 12 seasons. Ichiro also owns three of the top 20 single-season hits totals in MLB history, including the record of 262 hits in 2004.
He has played primarily in right field, where Nick Swisher is the regular starter. Swisher is currently day-to-day with a hip flexor strain.
Ichiro is in the last year of a deal that pays him a reported $17 million a year. The Yankees will pay only a little more than $2 million of that salary, according to YES. He'll likely fill in for the injured Swisher, and then join the Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones platoon in left field when Swisher returns.