Ichiro Suzuki to serve in Mariners front office for rest of 2018 season

Ichiro Suzuki will no longer play for the Seattle Mariners this season.

The team announced on Thursday that Ichiro, 44, will serve as special assistant to the chairman for the rest of the season. He appeared in 15 games in 2018, collecting nine hits in 44 at-bats (.205).

"While this agreement only covers the 2018 season, it is our goal that Ichiro be a member of the Seattle organisation long-term," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement.

But Ichiro is not calling this move a retirement.

"When I start using a cane, that's when I'll know I'm ready to retire," he said (via MLB.com).

Ichiro racked up more than 1,200 hits while playing professionally in Japan for nine seasons. He began his major league career with the Mariners in 2001, winning American League (AL) Rookie of the Year and MVP awards that season.

In total, Ichiro has played 18 MLB seasons for the Mariners, Yankees and Marlins. He has accumulated 3,089 hits, been named to 10 All-Star teams and won 10 Gold Glove awards.

Ichiro signed a one-year contract in March to return to Seattle.

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