Ten-time all-star Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the New York Yankees for a pair of minor league pitchers. The Mariners are also throwing in nearlhttp://www.businessinsider.com/photo-this-minnesota-twins-fan-loves-joe-mauer-a-little-too-much-2012-7#y $8 million in cash to help offset the $10 million Ichiro is still owed this season.
Understandably, many immediately wondered why the offensively challenged Rays couldn’t have made this deal, considering the prospects involved are not considered big-time.
Well, despite a career .322 batting average, Ichiro — how do I put this kindly — SUCKS this year. How bad?Ichiro is hitting just .261 with 4 home runs, a .288 OBP and a very pedestrian .281 wOBA (like OPS, but better). Here is how Ichiro’s wOBA compares to Rays hitters (min. 200 plate appearances; average wOBA is around .335)…
That’s right, Carlos Pena and Elliot Johnson have been better hitters this season. Of course, Ichiro can play gold glove defense. But so can the three outfielders the Rays already have.
Now, maybe Ichiro has a little left in the tank. But he wasn’t much better last year either (.289 wOBA). And that’s not the kind of help the Rays are looking for right now.