Suzuki should add some much-needed depth for Seattle while also bringing plenty of experience for a team that hasn't made the postseason since he was AL MVP in 2001. It's one of the largest ever for a player with less than a full year of service time.
The deal for Ichiro could be ready to sign by early Tuesday, said one source. Ichiro spent 12 season with the Mariners.
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, negotiations between the Mariners and Ichiro picked up in the last day to two after it became apparent that outfielder Ben Gamel would miss time with an oblique strain.
Gamel, 25, is in line for regular at-bats with the 2018 Mariners after posting a solid.275/.322/.413 slash with 11 homers, 27 doubles and five triples through 550 plate appearances a year ago in his first full big league season. Another returning outfielder, Guillermo Heredia, is coming off shoulder surgery and is being worked in slowly. After three years in NY and three with the Miami Marlins, Ichiro received a buyout when Miami did not pick up his option. The move by Miami was the beginning of their payroll purge that new ownership, led by Derek Jeter, carried out during the offseason.
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Suzuki ranks 22nd on the all-time list with 3,080 Major League Baseball career hits.
He is Seattle's all-time leader in batting average (.322) and hits (2,533).
In his third season with the Miami Marlins in 2017, Ichiro was mostly a pinch-hitter who finished with 196 at-bats and a.255 batting average, three homers, 20 RBI, a.649 OPS and -0.3 WAR.
- Sept 9: set Major League Baseball record for most pinch hit at-bats in a season with 84.