The New York Yankees traded two pitching prospects for an outfielder hitting below the league average in Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is in the final year of his contract worth $90 million, and asked to be traded. The Yankees took the bait.
This easily ranks as the biggest block buster trade of 2012, in that Ichiro has spent his entire career in Seattle and it will be hard for Mariners fans to see him go. It is not a blockbuster trade due to Ichiro’s .261 batting average and .288 on base percentage. Yankees officials said that they would have loved to get Ichiro in his prime but the price was just too high.
Ichiro was once an annual threat to be the first player to hit .400 since Ted Williams in 1941. Ichiro now joins a long list of great players who spend the twilight of their career with a bulging wallet in their pinstripes, such as Andrew Jones, Chuck Knoblauch, Roger Clemens, Kenny Lofton, and Randy Johnson.