Ichiro nearing return to Mariners

Clyde Nash
March 7, 2018

As the injury cart rolls into the Mariners' camp extra early this year, it appears that former Seattle superstar Ichiro Suzuki is on his way back to the Pacific Northwest.

Ichiro Suzuki is reportedly on the brink of returning to the place where he began his career in Major League Baseball.

"He keeps himself in great condition, he's willing to accept any role at this point in his career, obviously there's a little bit of a nostalgia fringe benefit I think to him coming back, but I think it's more sort of a short-term fix", Crasnick said of Ichiro. Right fielder Mitch Haniger has tendinitis in his hand, and reserve outfielder Guillermo Heredia is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

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

Ichiro last played for the Mariners in 2012 before being traded mid-season to the New York Yankees.

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. In the off-season, they hired as a non-roster invitee Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 30, who has 978 at-bats in six major league seasons with four teams.

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Though Ichiro's production has understandably taken a hit in recent years, he's put a lot of work into staying in playing shape into his mid-40s.

He would go on to win AL rookie of the year and MVP in 2001, leading Seattle to a record 116-win season. The future Hall of Famer has 3,080 hits over his 17-year major league career.

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