Yankees acquire outfielder Ichiro Suzuki

The New York Yankees today announced they have acquired 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP D.J. Mitchell and RHP Danny Farquhar.

Suzuki, 38, had played his entire 12-year Major League career with the Seattle Mariners since becoming the first Japan-born position player in Major League history. He owns a .322 (2,533-for-7,858) career batting average with 1,176 runs, 295 doubles, 79 triples, 99 home runs, 633 RBI, 438 stolen bases, 513 walks and a .366 on-base percentage in 1,844 games. Among active players, Suzuki is second in steals, third in batting average (min: 3,000PA) and sixth in hits. Since his debut in 2001, he has 330 more hits than any other Major Leaguer.

 

In 2012, Suzuki is batting .261 (105-for-402) with 49 runs, 15 doubles, 4 home runs, 28 RBI and 15 steals in 17 attempts in 95 games (93 in RF, 2 as DH).

 

Suzuki will become the sixth Japan-born player in Yankees franchise history, joining Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09), Kei Igawa (2007-08), Hiroki Kuroda (2012) and Ryota Igarashi (2012).

 

Suzuki is a two-time AL batting champion (.350 in 2001 and .372 in 2004) and has led or tied for the Major League lead in hits seven times (2001, ’04, ‘06-10), tying Pete Rose and Ty Cobb for the most such seasons all time. Additionally, he is the only player in Major League history to accomplish the feat in five consecutive years. From his debut season through 2010, he finished first or second in the AL in hits every year, and in 2011, he finished ninth.

 

Prior to playing in the Majors, Suzuki played for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan’s Pacific League for nine seasons (1992-2000) and was named the league’s MVP three times (1994-96). In 951 career games with Orix, he hit .353 (1,278-for-3,619) with 653 runs, 211 doubles, 23 triples, 118 home runs, 529 RBI and 199 stolen bases. Suzuki led the league in batting average for a Japanese-record seven straight years (1994-2000), while also winning a Gold Glove Award and being named to the Pacific League’s “Best Nine” in each of those seven seasons.

 

In his Major League rookie season of 2001, Suzuki batted a league-high .350 (242-for-692) with 34 doubles, 8 triples, 8 home runs, 69 RBI and a Major League-high 56 stolen bases, in becoming just one of two players all time to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the MVP in the same season, joining Boston’s Fred Lynn (1975).

 

In 2004, Suzuki recorded 262 hits, to set the all-time modern era (since 1900) single-season hits mark. Along with his 242 hits in 2001 and 238 hits in 2007, Suzuki owns three of the top 20 single-season hits totals in Major League history. He had at least 200 hits in 10 straight seasons from 2001 through 2010, tying Pete Rose for the most 200-hit seasons in a Major League career.

 

Suzuki’s 2,533 career hits since 2001 are the most by any player through his first 12 Major League seasons. In fact, at the conclusion of all but one of his 12 seasons, Suzuki has held the distinction of having more hits to start a career than any other Major Leaguer all time with the lone exception occurring after his third season, when only Lloyd Waner (678) had more hits than Suzuki’s 662 (according to data at www.baseball-reference.com).

 

Over his career, Suzuki has made 1,790 starts as an outfielder (1,525 in RF and 265 in CF) and owns a career fielding percentage of .992 with just 33 errors in 4,181 total chances. The Yankees, with 10-time Gold Glove outfielder Andruw Jones also on the roster, now have two of the six outfielders in Major League history to win at least 10 career Gold Gloves (also Roberto Clemente-12, Willie Mays-12, Ken Griffey Jr.-10 and Al Kaline-10).

 

Since the start of his Major League career in 2001, Suzuki has led the Majors with 1,844 games played, while missing just 35 team games.

 

 

ICHIRO SUZUKI’S CAREER BATTING RECORD

YEAR

CLUB

BA

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SH

SF

HP

BB

SO

SB

CS

E

OBP

SLG

2001

SEATTLE

.350

157

692

127

242

34

8

8

69

4

4

8

30

53

56

14

1

.381

.457

2002

SEATTLE

.321

157

647

111

208

27

8

8

51

3

5

5

68

62

31

15

3

.388

.425

2003

SEATTLE

.312

159

679

111

212

29

8

13

62

3

1

6

36

69

34

8

2

.352

.436

2004

SEATTLE

.372

161

704

101

262

24

5

8

60

2

3

4

49

63

36

11

3

.414

.455

2005

SEATTLE

.303

162

679

111

206

21

12

15

68

2

6

4

48

66

33

8

2

.350

.436

2006

SEATTLE

.322

161

695

110

224

20

9

9

49

1

2

5

49

71

45

2

3

.370

.416

2007

SEATTLE

.351

161

678

111

238

22

7

6

68

4

2

3

49

77

37

8

1

.396

.431

2008

SEATTLE

.310

162

686

103

213

20

7

6

42

3

4

5

51

65

43

4

2

.361

.386

2009

SEATTLE

.352

146

639

88

225

31

4

11

46

2

1

4

32

71

26

9

2

.386

.465

2010

SEATTLE

.315

162

680

74

214

30

3

6

43

3

1

3

45

86

42

9

1

.359

.394

2011

SEATTLE

.272

161

677

80

184

22

3

5

47

1

4

0

39

69

40

7

5

.310

.335

2012

SEATTLE

.261

95

402

49

105

15

5

4

28

0

4

0

17

40

15

2

1

.288

.353

Major League Totals

.322

1844

7858

1176

2533

295

79

99

633

28

37

47

513

792

438

97

26

.366

.418

Japan League Totals

.353

951

3619

653

1278

211

23

118

529

-

-

59

384

333

199

33

-

.424

.522

 

 

MOST CAREER HITS COMBINED

MAJOR LEAGUE AND JAPAN LEAGUE

1. Pete Rose (1963-86) - 4,256

2. Ty Cobb (1905-28) - 4,191

3. Hank Aaron (1954-76) - 3,771

4. ICHIRO SUZUKI (1992-pres.) - 3,811

5. Stan Musial (1941-1963) - 3,630

 

MAJOR LEAGUE AWARDS

AL MVP (1x): 2001

AL Rookie of the Year: 2001

All-Star (10x): 2001-10, (9 starts)

All-Star MVP (1x): 2007

Gold Glove (10): 2001-10

Silver Slugger (3x): 2001, ’07, 09

 

JAPAN LEAGUE AWARDS

Pacific League MVP (3x): 1994-96

Best Nine (7x):1994-2000

Gold Glove (7x):1994-2000

 

 

Mitchell, 25, saw his first Major League action this season, making four relief appearances (4.2IP, 2ER) over two stints with the Yankees (April 29-May 4 and June 30-July 18).  He spent a majority of the year with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 6-4 with a 5.04 ERA (85.2 IP, 48 ER) in 15 games (14 starts), tying for second on the team with 72 strikeouts.  In 2011, Mitchell earned the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees’ “Minor League Pitcher of the Year” after going 13-9 with a 3.18 ERA (161.1IP, 57ER) in 28 games (24 starts) with Scranton/WB and leading all Yankees minor leaguers in wins and ranking third in ERA. The North Carolina native was originally selected by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

 

Farquhar, 25, was acquired by the Yankees off waivers from Oakland on June 26 and has made seven combined minor league appearances for the Yankees with Double-A Trenton (6G, 1-0, four saves, 11.0IP, 2H, 0BB, 14K) and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (1G, 2.0IP, 0H, 0BB, 1K). He saw his only Major League action in 2011, making three relief appearances without a decision for Toronto with a 13.50 ERA (2.0IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K). He was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.