Ichiro, now 38, is set to become a free agent at the end of this season, and was expected to finish out his career with the Seattle Mariners. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said recently he expected Ichiro to resign with the club-but so goes life in the major leagues.
Hitting .261 thus far, well off his career numbers, Ichiro brings some stability to a mismatched outfield comprised of DeWayne Wise, Andrew Jones, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees had been rumored to be in the market for another outfielder as Brett Gardner is expected to not make it back onto the field this year.
The Yankees didn't give up much for this low risk high reward move, and will now continue to dominate the American League. They are expected to make one or two more moves, most likely adding a pitcher in an attempt to bolster the rotation.
Whatever moves the Yankees end up making from now until the trade deadline will be hard to compete with the on and off the field significance Ichiro will bring to the Bronx.