nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Ichiro Suzuki planning reunion with Seattle Mariners

07 March 2018, 12:08 | Nina Perez

Report: Ichiro, Mariners close to deal

Feb 25 2018 Peoria AZ USA Seattle Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Haniger is also now injured with a sore right hand.

It looks like Ichiro Suzuki is going back to Seattle.

The club announced Monday morning that Gamel, the likely starter in left who injured himself Friday swinging in the batting cage at spring training in Peoria, AZ., had an MRI that disclosed a more serious strain, keeping him out of the Opening Day lineup March 29 and beyond. Right fielder Mitch Haniger has tendinitis in his hand, and reserve outfielder Guillermo Heredia is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

His batting average of.255 for the season was the second lowest in his 17-year USA career. After three years in NY and three with the Miami Marlins, Ichiro received a buyout when Miami did not pick up his option.

Having traded away most of their MLB-ready prospects, the Mariners farm system does not have an obvious candidate for a promotion.

ESPN reported that the deal would be a major-league contract, meaning the Mariners would have to make a move to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

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. Of course, at 44 years old, the future Hall of Famer would assume a much different role for the Mariners in 2018 than he did in 2012.

It would be a welcome homecoming for Ichiro, who spent the first 12 years of his Major League Baseball career with the Mariners. He was named the American League MVP that season.

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