It came as quite a surprise to virtually everyone in the baseball community when Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees from the Seattle Mariners Monday afternoon for a pair of minor-league pitchers.
But according to national baseball writer Larry Stone, who has followed the Mariners and Ichiro closely for years, this deal has been in the works for some time:
Ichiro’s agent Tony Attanasio told me that Ichiro let Mariners know “months ago” that he was willing to be traded.
Stone further tweeted that Ichiro was doing it for the good of the team and its future:
Ichiro’s agent, Tony Attanasio: ““He knows that the club has to grow. He knows that the younger players need more playing time…”
The Mariners do need to rebuild, as they have not made the postseason since Ichiro’s rookie year of 2001, and have had just two winning seasons since 2003. This deal alone won’t accomplish that, but it shows the Mariners are beginning that process.