The drop-off offensively came pretty sudden for Ichiro. In 2009, he had a 126 wRC+, a 113 wRC+ in 2010, and then an 82 wRC + in 2011. This year, his wRC + is just 77. This year, he was hitting just .261/.288/.353. However, he was still the 6th best Mariner position player according to Baseball Reference WAR (1.4, Fangraphs has him at 1.8). He struggled defensively in 2011, but by both defensive metrics and eye-witness accounts, he had improved in 2012, rated as one of the best defenders in baseball. In fact, he has already put up his 5th best career UZR. However, that is not all that important. Mariners fans and writers should be celebrating Ichiro’s great Seattle career.
His first year in America was the 2001 season, when he not only won Rookie of the Year, but won the A.L. MVP as well. Not only was that the best Mariner team ever, but it was one of the best teams of all time. While he didn’t hit for much power, he was one of the best in all of baseball as far as speed, hitting for average, throwing arm, and overall defense. While decline eventually happened, Ichiro’s prime last longer than most players. He is not only still a serviceable player, but should get an offensive boost at the “New” Yankee Stadium.
In return, the Mariners get two minor league pitchers, Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell.
I wrote extensively about Danny Farquhar, who has been dominant since joining the Yankees, here
I will have a further writeup on D.J. Mitchell soon, but he is 25 and was drafted in the 10th round in 2008. He pitched in 4.2 innings for the big league Yankees this year. The right handed starter has a 3.96 FIP and 3.92 SIERA in AAA this year.