By: Noah Wright
Photo Via: Japan Bullet
With Greg Johns reporting that Mariners outfielder, Ben Gammel will be out 4-6 weeks with an oblique injury (https://twitter.com/GregJohnsMLB/status/970695656812638208), Mitch Haniger dealing with hand tendenitis, and Guillemro Heredia still taking things slow after an October shoulder surgery, The Mariners’ outfield depth was running out, with Dee Gordon being the only outfielder 100% ready, The Mariners have signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one year deal.
Ichiro, now 44 years of age, started his career out with The Mariners, after coming overseas from Japan. In Seattle, Ichiro won both Rookie Of The Year, and MVP in his first major league season at 27 years old in 2001, after recording a record amount of hits in one season (242), and led the league in average (.350) and stolen bases (56). Ichiro would go on to participate in 10 all-star games for Seattle, win 3 silver sluggers in 01, 07, and 09, 10 gold glove awards (between 2001 and 2010), the aforementioned MVP and ROY in 2001, 2 batting titles (2001, 2004), and led the league in steals once in 2001, while racking up 2533, a Mariners record, hits. Ichiro would bat .322/.366/.418, with 99 homers, and 438 stolen bases in 8483 PA’s in Seattle. Ichiro would play for The Mariners between 2001 until 2012, when he was traded to The Yankees nearing the 2012 deadline.
In the 3 seasons he spent in NY, Ichiro recorded a .281/.314/.364 line to go along with 49 stolen bases, and 13 home runs, across 1180 PA in NY. On 8/21/13, Ichiro would break the 4000th hit marker, when his stats were combined with his Japan stats.
After the 2014 season, Ichiro would latch on with The Marlins. Here, he would play the ‘15, 16, and 17 seasons. On 6/15/16, Ichiro would break Pete Rose’s hits record, with his total combined with his Japan numbers. Ichiro would go on to break another milestone by getting his 3000th hit on 8/07/16. The Marlins would decline Ichiro’s option for another season after the 2017 season.
Ichiro is now heading back to where it all started. Where he won rookie of the year and MVP in the same year. Where he broke the single season hit record, and to where he broke The Mariners all time hit, and stolen base record. He’ll likely play a bench/platoon role with The Mariners, but only time will tell whether this is a homecoming last season for the Hall Of Fame- bound outfielder, or if he plans on playing past this season.