ICHIRO TO YANKEES HIGHLIGHTS DEADLINE DEALS

The 2012 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline looms ahead and on  Monday the dominos continued to fall with several high-profile moves. The market has been altered with the new collective bargaining agreement that has done away with compensation picks from years past. Also in play is an added wildcard playoff spot, which puts more teams in contentions and makes the “buyers or sellers” question much more difficult. Here’s a roundup of Monday’s busy day.

YANKEES AQUIRE ICHIRO – The Yankees are riding high in the NL east with a seven-game lead and the best record in baseball. Most observers think they need starting pitching, and they probably will go out and get some, but the Bronx Bombers answered the news that OF Brett Gardner is probably done for the season by acquiring Ichiro. The icon is approaching the age of 40 and his numbers are down from the spectacular stats he put up routinely in Seattle, but it only cost the Yankees RHP’s Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell.

TIGERS GET SANCHEZ, INFANTE FROM MARLINS – The White Sox entered the weekend in first place in the AL central and picked up RHP Brett Myers from the Astros to strengthen their bullpen.  The surging Tigers answered right back with a three-game sweep over Chicago to move into first place and a deal with the Marlins for RHP Anibal Sanchez and INF Omar Infante. The Tigers gave up more than the Yankees did to get better, parting with top prospect RHP Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantley and LHP  Brian Flynn. The Tigers and Marlins also swapped draft picks from last week’s competitive balance lottery with Detroit getting a first-rounder and Miami receiving a second-rounder. This trade is a case of Detroit sacrificing some of its future to win now and it also marked the Marlins as sellers, somewhat surprisingly.

DEMPSTER TO BRAVES, PENDING APPROVAL – The Braves addressed their banged-up starting rotation with a deal for the Cubs’ RHP Ryan Dempster, but the deal is on hold as Dempster has not given his approval. Randall Delgado is headed to Chicago if the deal goes through but this one isn’t over yet.

With the deadline a week away, Monday’s heavy action should just be the beginning. The dominoes haven’t started to fall in the NL west but once the Giants, Dodgers or Diamondbacks make the first move, the other two will almost certainly follow.

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