In a stunning trade, the Seattle Mariners have traded franchise cornerstone Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees for a pair of pitching prospects: right-hander D.J. Mitchell and right-hander Danny Farquhar. Here are some capsule scouting reports for your edification.Danny Farquhar, RHP: Farquhar is a 5-9, 180 pound right-handed reliever, born February 17, 1987. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round in 2008, from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. A starter in college, he was converted to relief by the Blue Jays and rose quickly through their farm system, reaching Double-A in his first full professional season and the majors for the first time in 2011.
He has played transaction ping-pong over the last year and a half, being traded to Oakland in November 2010 for Rajai Davis, then being traded back to Toronto in April 2011 for David Purcey. Oakland claimed him on waivers in early June 2012, then he went to the Yankees on waivers later in the month. He has a career minor league ERA of 2.94 with a 337/138 K/BB ratio in 324 innings, collecting 64 saves while allowing 251 hits. In Triple-A he has a career 4.65 ERA with a 59/27 K/BB in 70 innings and 80 hits allowed, but most of his Triple-A has been in the PCL with Las Vegas, not an easy place to pitch.
Farquhar has been clocked as high as 94 MPH, although his velocity varies and he's often right around 90. He likes to alter his arm slots and will throw anywhere from three-quarters to almost sidearm. His curveball and changeup have their moments, and he has a chance to be a useful middle reliever.
D.J. Mitchell, RHP: Like Farquhar, Mitchell was a 10th round draft pick in 2008, in his case drafted by the Yankees out of Clemson. Listed at 6-0, 160, he's not big as right-handers go but is considered a good athlete. He's moved through the system one level at a time, spending a year each at High-A and Double-A and a year and a half in Triple-A. Over four minor league seasons, he has a career ERA of 3.56 with a 421/200 K/BB ratio in 538 innings, with 511 hits allowed. This includes a 3.81 ERA with a 200/99 K/BB in 265 innings in Triple-A, all for Scranton, with 259 hits allowed.
Mitchell has started in the minors but scouts see him more as a big league reliever. A sinker/slider type, he'll top his fastball out at 92 MPH and averages 88-89. He might throw slightly harder once acclimated to relief use. He has three secondary pitches with a curveball, slider, and changeup. None of them are bad, but none of them are excellent, either, preventing him from being consistently overpowering. Like Farquhar, Mitchell won't be a star but could be a useful part of a major league bullpen, and his background as a starter means you could stretch him out a bit with multiple inning outings if necessary.
The Mariners picked up a couple of Grade C type prospects here, which may not seem like a lot considering what a big name Ichiro is. However, Suzuki is also 38 years old, and it's been a couple of years since he was Ichiro! in performance terms. Saying goodbye is never easy, but sometimes it has to happen.