Ichiro Suzuki set to return to Mariners on major-league contract

Ichiro Suzuki set to return to Mariners on major-league contract”

While seven more years in the big leagues is anything but guaranteed, it's looking like the 44-year-old outfielder will have a chance to play for least one more season. Outfielder Guillermo Heredia is also still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, leaving Seattle thin at the position. However, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times points out (on Twitter), Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger is dealing with tendinitis in his hand and hasn't taken batting practice in almost a week.

With the Mariners, a franchise that rightfully sees him as one of their icons, he just might get that chance.

Ichiro became a free agent after the Miami Marlins declined his option for 2018.

Having traded away most of their MLB-ready prospects, the Mariners farm system does not have an obvious candidate for a promotion. He has a career.221 average with 31 homers and 117 RBIs and a 2.8 WAR.

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According to, Suzuki is set to sign after he passes a physical which takes place Monday afternoon in Seattle, but the Mariners have yet to confirm the reports.

Suzuki started his big-league career with the Mariners in 2001 following an immensely successful nine-year stint with the Orix BlueWave (now Buffaloes) of Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) Pacific League.

In 2001, Suzuki hit.350 with 242 hits and 56 stolen bases to earn the American League Rookie of the Year and AL MVP awards. He has stated that he wants to play until he's 50, which doesn't look out of the realm of possibility.

The Mariners will be without their starting left fielder to begin the season.

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