Ichiro close to signing a deal to return to the Mariners

Ben Gamel is the second Mariners outfielder in less than a year to suffer an oblique strain

Ben Gamel is the second Mariners outfielder in less than a year to suffer an oblique strain

Ichiro Suzuki, at 44 years old, is getting closer to continuing his major league career where it all began - with the Seattle Mariners.

With Monday's announcement that Ben Gamel has a strained oblique and will be out 4-6 weeks, the Mariners are in need of some outfield help. Ichiro has been working out in Japan and was expected to play there in 2018 unless he had an offer from Major League Baseball.

The one healthy veteran outfielder is newcomer Dee Gordon, a career second baseman who is in center field for the first time.

Right fielder Mitch Haniger (sore hand) has been slowed during spring training and outfielder Guillermo Heredia is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

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Rudy Gay scored 15 points and Patty Mills added 14 for the Spurs, who have lost two games in a row and five of the past six. Cleveland gave up 73 points in the first half, which was just two points shy of its worst defensive half of the season.


Ichiro played in 136 games for the Marlins last season, predominantly as a pinch hitter. He became a free agent when the Marlins declined his $2 million club option for 2018.

Again, nothing is yet official, but the two sides are talking and we could see Ichiro in Peoria soon.

Of course, there is an actual baseball reason for the move.

He would go on to win AL rookie of the year and MVP in 2001, leading Seattle to a record 116-win season. He has 3,080 hits in his 17-year career in the U.S. Before coming to the U.S.in 2001, he played professionally in his native Japan for nine years.

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