Ichiro Suzuki agrees to minor league deal with Mariners

Combined Shape

SEATTLE (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki has agreed to a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners, paving the way for the 45-year-old to play in the Mariners’ season-opening series in Japan.

Suzuki’s agent, John Boggs, confirmed the agreement on Wednesday and said Suzuki’s deal would become a major league contract if he is added to Seattle’s expanded roster for the two games the Mariners will play against Oakland to open the season in March in Tokyo. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has said Suzuki is expected to be on the roster for those games.

Suzuki started last season playing for the Mariners but transitioned into a front-office role as a “special assistant to the chairman” that allowed him to take part in pregame workouts and batting practice but not to be in the dugout during games. The move ended his season abruptly but with the knowledge that Seattle was opening 2019 in Japan, which would be a highly anticipated opportunity for him to play in his home country. Suzuki was hitting .205 in 44 at-bats during his limited action in 2018, and all nine of his hits this were singles.

But Suzuki has worked out through the offseason with the intent of being ready to open the 2019 season with the big league club. He is expected to be on the list of spring training invitees the Mariners will release on Thursday.

Suzuki was named both the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP with the Mariners and won a pair of AL batting titles. He was traded to the Yankees midway through 2012, played parts of three seasons with New York, then spent three seasons with Miami.

Trending:
Biden Cancels Trump's 'Garden of American Heroes' and Ends Exec Order Protecting Monuments

The 10-time All-Star has a .311 average and 3,089 hits, not including the 1,278 hits he amassed in nine seasons in Japan.

“One thing I’ve learned about Ichiro, his preparation and focus is the best I’ve ever seen in any player I’ve ever encountered,” Dipoto said earlier this month when Seattle introduced new pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. “His single-mindedness in achieving a goal is so real that I won’t put anything past him.”

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation