Drayer: Why an Ichiro return with Mariners would make sense

Mariners lose OF Ben Gamel for month to strained oblique

Remember the good old Mariners days when they had so many injuries to pitchers that they were working out grocery baggers from QFC?

But Bob Nightengale of USA Today has sources say that the Mariners will bring back a fan favorite in the 44-year-old Ichiro.

If a job in the majors had not opened up, he was planning to play in Japan for the 2018 season.

The news follows a six-day absence by starting RF Mitch Haniger, who is dealing with hand tendinitis that inhibits his swing.

The outfielder spent 12 years in Seattle from 2001-12. Between that, the fact that Guillermo Heredia is recovering from shoulder surgery and the fact that one of their healthy outfielders - Dee Gordon - is actually a second baseman means that there are some opportunities for outfielders with Seattle.

Last season he hit a dismal.255/.318/.332 for just 50 hits and 17 walks in 215 plate appearances.

Again, nothing is yet official, but the two sides are talking and we could see Ichiro in Peoria soon. Previous year at Milwaukee he had 26 ABs and hit.115. "Of course, I want to play baseball next year".

He would go on to win AL rookie of the year and MVP in 2001, leading Seattle to a record 116-win season.

His hire would have to await a return from Japan and a passing a physical exam, so his bobblehead night is not yet known.

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