"I don't have to face him the rest of the year, so that'll be nice when we go to Seattle," reliever Aaron Crow said on Monday, after Ichiro was traded to the Yankees. "On one side, it's good for him and it should be a good fit for the Yankees."
Yes, and the Royals don't have to play the Yankees again this season, either.
Ichiro has hit the Royals better than any American League team in his career, with a .365 average that included 145 hits in 95 games. No big home-run hitter, he had 10 against the Royals along with 69 runs scored, 52 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon has seen Ichiro wreak havoc for years, including 8-for-20 in last week's series at KC in which the Mariners won three of four games.
"You can see what the Mariners are doing -- preparing for the future and Ichiro's been there for a while. So they're probably trying to get something out of Ichiro and give him a chance to go to a winning team," Gordon said. "He's a veteran and deserves to be in the playoffs, or something like that. It was kind of the right fit for everyone and definitely makes the Yankees a lot better now."
Gordon remembered Ichiro well from his days as a third baseman.
"Playing third base against him, he'd always slap it my way and it was pretty tough to play Ichiro. He makes it look pretty easy," Gordon said. "He was definitely one of those guys you had to play in on and respect the bunt, but then he'd slap it right at you. It was tough."
Now that the Yankees have snagged Ichiro, Gordon won't have to listen to rumors about being a possible trade target of the Yankees himself.
"I heard it one time. My wife texted me the other day and said that someone told her it was on MLBTradeRumors and that was pretty much it," Gordon said. "You know rumors are going to come here and there when you're at the Trade Deadline and you've just got to focus on what's going on right now. ... I'm glad I'm not going, though, I'll tell you that. I'm happy right here."