I knew this was going to happen years ago. Everyone told me I was nuts; that Ichiro would finish out his career in Seattle. But was I nuts? No…just level-headed and practical. Why on earth would a player of Ichiro’s caliber and now age, stay with such a sucky team if he didn’t have to? Honestly. The only other player I can name on the Mariners is Felix Hernandez.
Since 2001, Ichiro Suzuki has been synonymous with the Seattle Mariners. The first significant position player signed from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Japanese major leagues, he made an instant impact in MLB; he was named American League Rookie of the Year and MVP in that first season and the Mariners won an American League record 116 games.
Now, at 37, Ichiro has slowed down for the last season and a half, but not so much that he wasn’t desired by another team. Monday afternoon, Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the New York Yankees.
Career-wise, Ichiro has hit .322/.366/.418 with 2,533 hits and 438 stolen bases, along with 10 straight 200-hit seasons, although since the beginning of the 2011 season he’s hit a significantly-lower .268/.302/.342, and appears to be reaching the end of his illustrious major-league career. Two years ago, you’d never have seen Ichiro traded for pitchers like Danny Farquhar (who’s been waived twice this season) and D.J. Mitchell, a former 10th-round draft pick with an undistinguished minor-league career.
So yeah. It could be said that not only is Seattle without an NBA team, we are basically without a MLB team as well.