MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley, the second player selected in the 2009 Draft, was dealt to the Yankees on Thursday for two prospects -- outfielder Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez -- who had brief Major League stints earlier this year.
Ackley, 27, never flourished as hoped with Seattle, hitting .243 over five seasons and .215 this year when he was reduced to a platoon role in left field.
"It's crazy," Ackley said moments after being told he was headed to the Yankees. "I guess you never know when this kind of thing is going to happen. It's kind of a big surprise, but I guess this is part of it. You see this all the time with guys. Things happen. I'm excited for what the future has to hold and it'll be fun."
Ackley initially was scheduled to start Thursday's series opener in left field against the Twins, but instead was replaced in the lineup by Franklin Gutierrez. The Mariners, who already have Robinson Cano and Logan Morrison sidelined by minor ailments, were left with a 24-man roster on Thursday, but designated hitter Jesus Montero is likely to be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday.
Flores and Ramirez were both playing at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the Yanks. General manager Jack Zduriencik said it's possible one or the other might join Seattle shortly, but no decision has been finalized.
Flores, 23, was the Yankees' No. 28-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline. He made his MLB debut on May 30 this season and was 7-for-32 (.219) over 12 games.
Ramirez allowed five earned runs in three innings (15.00 ERA) over his three appearances with the Yanks this season. He made his Major League debut last June and posted a 5.40 ERA over eight big league appearances in 2014.
"Flores played against us early in the year," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's impressive in the outfield and does a lot of things. Ramirez is a big arm, throws 97-99. This is always tough when you trade a player you consider yours. But you have to manage an organization with the ability to try to win games now, but also an eye on the future. This helps with the future a little bit."
Ackley will need to shave his lengthy beard to join the Yankees, who enforce a strict policy against facial hair, but he said that isn't going to be the biggest change after seven years with Seattle.
"I'm going to miss everybody here, that's for sure," Ackley said. "I've been with this organization my whole career. So to say that I'm leaving now is kind of crazy. I have nothing but good memories here.
"I mean, I've had some struggles and some good times here. But ultimately when I look back on it, it's going to be nothing but positives. I've got some teammates and friends here that I'll have for the rest of my life, and you can't trade that for anything."