Ichiro Suzuki likely to return to Seattle Mariners

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The deal is expected to be for one year.

Japanese Major League Baseball veteran Ichiro Suzuki may be heading back to Seattle.

The Mariners made an announcement on Monday that their outfielder Ben Gamel would miss up to six weeks due to an injured oblique, which puts his availability to play on Opening Day up in the air and opens a potential spot on the roster for the Ichiro. Sources say he will sign once he clears a physical test.

In 2001, Suzuki hit.350 with 242 hits and 56 stolen bases to earn the American League Rookie of the Year and AL MVP awards.

Over the course of his career, Suzuki appeared in 10 All-Star Games and has won 10 Gold Gloves.

Gamel is added to a growing list of ailments for the Mariners. The club has seen a number of players slowed by injury this month, potentially making room for Ichiro. He also hasn't played 150 games or more since his 2013 campaign with the Yankees, and is averaging only.263/.312/.333 with a.644 OPS over the last five seasons with NY and the Miami Marlins. The move by Miami was the beginning of their payroll purge that new ownership, led by Derek Jeter, carried out during the offseason.

Ichiro holds the single-season Major League Baseball record of 262 hits, set in 2004. But he managed 27 pinch hits, one short of a single season record.

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.

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