Klapisch: Ichiro, Yankees A Good Fit

Bob Klapisch sums up the Yankees-Mariners trade -- which sent Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees, and the Mariners receiving two minor leaguers you've already forgotten, and will never hear about again -- like this:

It’s a good deal, maybe even a great one. We’ll see.

Yes, we'll see.

What we'll probably see is a fourth outfielder with fifth-outfielder statistics. It's been said before but it's worth saying again: Since Opening Day of 2011, Ichiro Suzuki's got a .268/.302/.342 batting line. He's become a pure singles hitter who doesn't draw walks and doesn't actually hit all that many singles. He does still run the bases with élan, and he's still solid enough in the outfield.

But Klapisch goes way overboard when he writes this:

Ichiro essentially becomes Gardner for the final two months of the season, during which time the Yankees hope he’ll bolster his offensive production.

That's Brett Gardner, who's out for the rest of the season with an injury. The same Brett Gardner who's got a .355 career on-base percentage and ranked among the best defensive outfielders on earth.

Ichiro Suzuki isn't Brett Gardner. What Ichiro Suzuki might be is a decent platoon player and defensive replacement. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's not like the Yankees gave up much to get him. But it's only a great deal if Ichiro actually makes a difference for the Yankees in October, since they've already locked up another division title.

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