While Ichiro is a huge name, he's not necessarily a huge get any longer. His career average of .322 has dropped off in the last two years first to .272 and now to .261. With his OBP now down below .300 on the year, Ichiro is a shadow of his former self at the plate, if still quite good in the field.
The Yankees were of course in need of some outfield assistance now that Brett Gardner is gone for the year and Nick Swisher is dealing with a hip issue. Ichiro could be a better-than-expected replacement given the move from Safeco to New Yankee Stadium, but he's not exactly going to light the world on fire as he once did.
Perhaps more pertinent to the Red Sox' deadline plans is the acquisition of Anibal Sanchez (and Omar Infante) by the Detroit Tigers for Jacob Turner.
With the cost of Ryan Dempster for the Braves a top-50 prospect, the price for rental starters had already been set high. Now the deal for Sanchez has reinforced that market, with the Marlins receiving a prospect ranked at #22 in the nation heading into 2012. Even factoring in the decent Omar Infante there's no question that it's going to take plenty to gain any rotation support.
So what does that mean for the Red Sox and us, their fans? Frankly, it has me worried about the possibility that the Red Sox will chase hard after a playoff appearance this year. Can you imagine trading one of the three B's for a rental? And what of the cost to acquire someone like Johnson, Garza, or Greinke if the rentals cost a top-50 prospect?
Perhaps the early buyers were simply competing against themselves, setting the bar higher than anyone else will be willing to reach. If that's the case, sellers will have to let their prices come down to Earth. But for now, buying is looking like a losing proposition this year.