The trade of Ichiro Monday came as a surprise to many, mostly because it was believed that there was no market for his declining, 38-year-old skills, and that he didn't want to leave a franchise where he could dictate terms and conditions.
But apparently after reflecting over the All-Star break, he asked to be traded. As a player with 10-and-5 rights and in his final contract year with the Mariners, he could select the teams to which he would accept a trade. But he probably could not have asked for a better situation than the Yankees, the American League leaders with a long history of taking other teams' veterans and pulling the last of their quality games out of them.
The question for Mariners fans is whether this was the right deal at the right time. Fans have seen several stars come and go, but Ichiro was different. His career electrified all of baseball in 2001 when when he became not only the first Japanese position player in MLB, but the American League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.
But as his production and the team's production declined in the past couple of seasons while his $18 million salary did not, fans began to look at Ichiro less fondly. His game bore the brunt of fan criticism, but so many other things were wrong as well. Some fans believed he should stay, others wanted him out years ago?
What do you think?