The Yankees also received cash in the deal that sent right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners. Both 25-year-old players will report to the Tacoma Rainiers.
The trade was prompted by a request from 38-year-old Suzuki himself, according to team CEO Howard Lincoln.
"Several weeks ago, Ichiro Suzuki, through his long time agent, Tony Attanasio, approached Chuck Armstrong and me to ask that the Mariners consider trading him," said Lincoln. "Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop."
The 38-year-old Suzuki had spent his whole big league career with Seattle. The 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner is batting .261 with four home runs, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases this year.
Suzuki is a career .322 hitter and former AL MVP. He has never played in the World Series and now joins the team with the best record in the majors.
"Ichiro will be missed. He owns a long list of Major League Baseball and Mariners club records, has earned many prestigious awards, and in my opinion, he will someday be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame," said Lincoln.
At a news conference, Suzuki recounted his past 11 years with the Mariners with misty eyes.
"When I think about taking off the Mariners uniform, I was overcome with sadness," he said with the help of a translator. "I will be moving on with pride on acount of the last 11½ years I spent with the Mariners."
The announcement came on Monday afternoon as the team prepared to face off against the Yankees in a series opener at Safeco Field. Suzuki will play for the Yankees against the Mariners.
When asked how he felt about having to face his former team in his first game as a Yankee, Suzuki grew tearful.
“It'll be hard for me to tell until I step onto that field,” he said.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said Suzuki will primarily play left field for his team.