The Seattle Mariners have been in a rebuilding session for the past decade or so, and with Ichiro Suzuki nearing the end of his contract this year, his future with the only MLB team he has known remained a bit murky. Add in his constantly declining offensive skill set, and it really isn't that much of a surprise in the grand scheme of things to realize that a trade could possibly happen.
The odd thing of course is imaging Ichiro in any other jersey but a Mariners one. But according to Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, Ichiro requested a trade months ago.
"Several weeks ago, Ichiro Suzuki, through his long time agent, Tony Attanasio, approached Chuck Armstrong and me to ask that the Mariners consider trading him. 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.
The trade still comes as a surprise though, considering it was only last week when General Manager Jack Zduriencik had to quickly backpeddle on the statement that he expected Ichiro to return in a Mariners jersey in 2013.
Ichiro said he realized thar he was surrounded by young players and that he was looking for something different. It was best for both.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) July 23, 2012
But like the zenmaster that he is, Ichiro was well aware of his situation and the situation of the team he has spent his entire MLB career with. The Mariners are in the process of rebuilding, and with that comes inevitably going younger.
Ichiro said the number 1 factor when asking for the trade was that the team he was going to wanted him. Girardi nodded when this was said— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) July 23, 2012