Seattle, WA – The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners on Monday in exchange for minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.
Cash considerations were also included in the trade.
Suzuki, 38, is batting .261 with 49 runs scored and a team-high 15 stolen bases in 95 games with the Mariners this season. The 10-time American League All-Star is Seattle's all-time leader in hits (2,533), runs scored (1,176), triples (79) and at-bats (7,858).
"Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop," said Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln.
The AL MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001, Suzuki has spent his entire 12-year career with the Mariners, hitting .322 over that span. He was named an All- Star in 10 straight seasons from 2001-2010, while capturing a Gold Glove Award in each of those campaigns.
Suzuki is in the final year of his contract.
"When I spent time during the All-Star break to think, I realized that this team has many players in their early 20's. I began to think that I should not be on this team next year," an emotional but composed Suzuki said through a translator.
The move provides depth for the Yankees, who recently announced that Brett Gardner will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. The outfielder has been on the disabled list since April 18 and is likely done for the season.
"We are very excited to have him," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "We feel that he brings a speed element, and that speed element is something that we lost when (Gardner) had surgery."
Girardi added that the team plans to play Suzuki in left field.
"At times he'll play some right (field) if I need to give (Nick Swisher) a day off, but our plan is to play him in left field," Girardi explained.
The Yankees and Mariners open a three-game series Monday in Seattle.
Mitchell, 25, has gone 6-4 with a 5.04 earned run average in 15 games -- 14 starts -- with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He made his major league debut on May 5 and didn't record a decision while posting a 3.86 ERA in four games over two stints with the Yankees this year.
Farquhar, also 25, has spent time with Toronto, Oakland and New York (AL) organizations this season, going 2-3 with five saves and a 3.33 ERA in 32 minor league relief appearances.