OK, the question was kind of loaded.
Former Mariners great Jay Buhner was asked on an ESPN 710 radio show today whether the Mariners should bring Ichiro Suzuki back for something like $35 million-$40 million over three years, and he decided to go all Carmelo Anthony on the subject. The Seattle Times has the quote:
“I’d vomit,” Buhner said. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.”
Nope, especially not when that one guy has been a liability two years running.
The Mariners are making noises about bringing back Ichiro for 2013 and beyond, but there’s a good chance it’s just talk, and even if it isn’t, they can’t possibly be thinking about giving him a three-year deal. Really, even if he plays a little better over the rest of this season, it’s hard to imagine another team giving him anything more than a one-year, $5 million deal.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.