Ichiro Suzuki finalizing one-year deal to return to Seattle Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki finalizing one-year deal to return to Seattle Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki finalizing one-year deal to return to Seattle Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins acknowledges the crowd while being honored by the Seattle Mariners before a game at Safeco Field on April 17, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

If a job in the majors had not opened up, he was planning to play in Japan for the 2018 season.

The outfielder spent 12 years in Seattle from 2001-12.

The Mariners will be without their starting left fielder to begin the season.

Ichiro played in 136 games previous year as a reserve outfielder for the Marlins, batting.255 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. Mitch Haniger is also now injured with a sore right hand. In the off-season, they hired as a non-roster invitee Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 30, who has 978 at-bats in six major league seasons with four teams.

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In November, the Marlins chose to declined their $2 million option on Ichiro, making him a free agent.

But the Seattle Times reported he strained a hamstring running the bases and has missed a week.

He's said he wants to play until he's 50.

The Mariners could seek a free agent like Jon Jay or Carlos Gonzalez, though would likely offer just a one-year deal.

Ichiro came over from Japan's NBP league in 2001 and immediately established himself as one of the best contact hitters in baseball, capturing rookie of the year honours.

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