Outfielder Ichiro and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a one-year deal that would bring back the legendary Japanese star to the place where he started his MLB career, the team announced.
“The addition of Ichiro gives our team another versatile and athletic outfielder,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “His incredible work ethic, prepara-tion and focus will enhance our environment in many ways. He’s truly one of the great players in the history of the game and his unquestionable presence is a valuable addition, both on the field and in the clubhouse. We’re very glad to bring him back home.”
Ichiro is 44 years old and could serve as a temporary replacement for Ben Gamel, who injured his oblique during Spring Training.
Last year, Ichiro hit .255 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 136 games for the Miami Marlins. He hit free agency when the Marlins declined his $2 million club option for 2018 as part of owner Derek Jeter's plan to shed payroll.
Ichiro last played for the Mariners in 2012 before being traded mid-season to the New York Yankees. He played in Seattle for 12 years and made 11 All-Star teams. He holds two franchise records with his 2,533 hits and .322 batting average.
Ichiro has previously said that he hopes to play until he's 50.