Ichiro fills need with Gardner sidelined

Ichiro fills need with Gardner sidelined

SEATTLE -- General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees weren't in the marketplace to trade for an outfielder, believing the price tags would be too high, but that changed when Ichiro Suzuki made himself available.

With the Yankees expecting Brett Gardner to be lost for the season, Cashman said he made phone calls to seek outfield help but didn't like the landscape. Ichiro's request to be dealt by the Mariners seemed to solve the issue.

"He's an athletic contact outfielder, a lot like what we lost," Cashman said. "He's someone who obviously played with massive exposure, which will help with his transition over here. Once we lost Gardy, this is something that we started to focus on; how can we kind of replace what we lost? That's where this led us."

Cashman said that the initial conversations took place between Mariners president Chuck Armstrong and Yankees president Randy Levine, who then kicked the negotiating down to Cashman and Mariners counterpart Jack Zduriencik.

"My discussions led me a lot of different ways, but the price tags in those discussions didn't match up with us," Cashman said. "Randy Levine approached me during the conversations that he had with Chuck Armstrong that there might be an opportunity here to pursue. We started focusing on that."

Cashman said that despite Ichiro's struggles this season, the Yankees believe he can help their team's pursuit of a World Series title.

"We believe that this is a player that is an asset that can certainly assist this team in its efforts," Cashman said. "We wouldn't have pursued it and concluded it if we didn't think that."