Ichiro to return to Mariners?
With Ben Gamel out injured due to an elbow injury, The Mariners have begun talks with former Mariner legend Ichiro to bolster the outfield depth. With Mitch Haniger in right, Dee Gordon in center, and Guilermo Heredia in left, that leaves nothing on the bench for the M’s. Ichiro, played with the Mariners from 2001-2012; he recorded over 2,500 hits and won 10 Gold Gloves. He has spent the last several years with the Yankees and Marlins.
Ichiro Suzuki is getting close to finalizing one year major league deal with #Mariners
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 5, 2018
It remains to be seen if this is just a stunt or if Ichiro has anything left in the tank. Ichiro could potentially be used as a late game defensive replacement and a left-handed pinch hitter. A 1 year contract would be a nominal investment, allowing the Mariners to cut him without much to lose.
I worry a bit about nostalgia, bobblehead nights, and jersey sales playing a part in this decision. The terrible farm system that GM Jerry Dipoto has put together has little to few prospects ready to make the jump. Eric Filia is on a timeout for smoking pot, Kyle Lewis is injury prone, and Braden Bishop is just a little too green. This was not a terrible decision; however, one wonders, how much did Dipoto really scour the waiver wire before settling on a 44 year old man as the stopgap bench player?