Suzuki agrees to mi­nor league deal with Mariners

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports -

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

Suzuki’s agent, John Boggs, con­firmed the agree­ment on Wed­nes­day. He said Suzuki’s deal would be­come a ma­jor league con­tract if he’s added to Seat­tle’s ex­panded ros­ter for the two games the Mariners will play against Oak­land in March in Tokyo.

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 bat- ting prac­tice but did not al­low him to be in the dugout dur­ing games.

The move ended his sea­son abruptly, but with the knowl­edge that Seat­tle was open­ing 2019 in Ja­pan with what would be a highly-an­tic­i­pated op­por­tu­nity for him to play in his home coun­try.

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.

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