It isn't exactly a blockbuster trade in terms of talent, but as far as gravity goes you probably won't find a larger one this trading season. For the second time in a year, the Mariners are sending a fan favorite over to the Yankees, although the circumstances of it are quite a bit different.
But the news is slowly trickling in - and #51, or at least he used to be #51, will be playing against the Mariners tonight at Safeco Field. Ichiro's first at-bat tonight, the only at-bat he will have made not wearing a Mariners uniform, will quite possibly be the most surreal story in sports of the year.
Ichiro will play for the Yankees tonight. Girardi won't reveal where he'll hit until he's had a chance to discuss it with Ichiro first.— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) July 23, 2012
Ichiro says he'll wear a new number because 51 belonged to Bernie williams— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) July 23, 2012
From the get-go, it looks like the Yankees are really coming away with a steal of a trade here - assuming Ichiro can regain a bit of his old-form. The Mariners will be paying close to 2/3 of Ichiro's remaining contract with the Yankees picking up the rest.
Correction from earlier: The Yankees will pay Ichiro $2.2 million over the rest of 2012. Mariners picking up the remainder.— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) July 23, 2012