Picture of the Day: Ichiro steps to the plate in Tokyo

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From Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times comes the shot below of Mariners outfielder and native of Japan Ichiro Suzuki getting ready to bat in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Hanshin Tigers. The Mariners lost the game 5-1 in front of a raucous sold out crowd of 55,000 at the Tokyo Dome.

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Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.