White Sox complete trade for Teahen, decline Dye's option

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After some non-denial denials from both sides, the White Sox and Royals made things official with the three-player trade reported yesterday: Mark Teahen to Chicago for Chris Getz and Josh Fields.
For a full breakdown of the deal check out my lengthy analysis from yesterday. Short version? Teahen is overrated and probably not worth the money he’s about to make. Getz and Fields are nothing special, but they’re cheap and somewhat useful. Good trade for the Royals.
Interestingly, general manager Ken Williams announced immediately that Teahen will be the White Sox’s starting third baseman, with Gordon Beckham sliding across the diamond to second base. Initial reports had Chicago targeting Teahen to replace Jermaine Dye in right field and that may still be an option if Williams ends up making a run at someone like Chone Figgins via free agency.
For now though Teahen is back to being a poor defensive third baseman rather than a poor offensive right fielder. In related news, the White Sox have declined their $12 million option on Dye for 2010, predictably choosing to buy him out for $1 million. Dye had a strong 2008 and hit .302/.375/.567 with 20 homers in the first half this season, but absolutely fell apart in the second half while batting just .179 in 60 games. Dye has bounced back from extended slumps before, but he’s 35 years old now and letting him go was a no-brainer at that price.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?