Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners finalise 'homecoming' deal
Japanese veteran Ichiro Suzuki is heading back to Seattle, the Mariners confirmed on Wednesday.
The 44-year-old outfielder and the Mariners finalised a one-year deal reportedly worth $750,000 with incentives that could take it to $2million.
"I want to be able to help the Seattle Mariners," Ichiro said in a news conference. "I want to give it everything I've gained, everything I've done in my career, I want to give it all right here in Seattle."
It is a homecoming of sorts for Ichiro, who spent the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Mariners, breaking in as the 2001 American League MVP and Rookie of the Year.
Last season, he played on a part-time basis with the Miami Marlins, batting just .255/.318/.332 in 196 at-bats, the lowest of his career.
In November, the Marlins declined their $2m option on Ichiro, making him a free agent. He could provide help early for the Mariners, who are dealing with multiple injuries in the outfield.
"He's going to play," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "It's not like what he's done the last couple years. That's why we acquired him, to bring him in. I don't think it's going to be seven days a week, but we'll get him out there.
"I believe he can help us. Our people making the decisions on the roster believe he can help us. So we'll give it a shot."