Ichiro Suzuki, 44, Mariners near agreement on contract

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Earlier today it was reported that the Mariners' Ben Gamel has an oblique strain that will put him out 4-6 weeks and that Mitch Haniger has hand tendinitis and hasn't taken batting practice in six days. Another returning outfielder, Guillermo Heredia, is coming off shoulder surgery and is being worked in slowly.

If a job in the majors had not opened up, he was planning to play in Japan for the 2018 season. However, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times points out (on Twitter), Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger is dealing with tendinitis in his hand and hasn't taken batting practice in almost a week.

This is the second time in about ten years that the Mariners have brought back a franchise icon in what appears to be the end of their career. After three years in NY and three with the Miami Marlins, Ichiro received a buyout when Miami did not pick up his option. "I really hope he continues his major league career for as long as possible", said Orix manager Junichi Fukura, a former teammate of Suzuki's.

Gamel, who is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, hit.275 with 11 home runs, 27 doubles, five triples and 59 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues.

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Numerous free agent outfielders are unsigned, including Melky Cabrera, 33, but they are likely seeking more than one-year deals. He has stated that he wants to play until he's 50, which doesn't look out of the realm of possibility.

The future Hall of Famer has spent the majority of his 17-year major-league career with the Mariners.

The Mariners traded Ichiro to the Yankees at midseason of 2012.

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.