On Wednesday, the Mariners hosted the Marlins for a series finale. As outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who spent the first 12 years of his major league career in Seattle, is now with the Marlins, the Mariners fittingly gave away an Ichiro dual bobblehead.
The Marlins fell behind for good in the fourth inning when the Mariners took an 8-3 lead. Suzuki gave both Marlins and Mariners fans something to cheer about in the top of the ninth inning, however, as he lifted an Evan Marshall fastball out to right-center field for a solo home run in what is likely his final at-bat at Safeco Field. The Seattle crowd gave Suzuki a loud standing ovation.
Suzuki, now 43, hit .322/.366/.418 with 438 stolen bases as a Mariner from 2001-12. He won the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards in ’01 and made the All-Star team 10 years running from ’01-10. He’s been with the Marlins since 2015. While he isn’t the player he once was due to age, he showed last year he still has something left in the tank by finishing with a .730 OPS. Suzuki has struggled to start 2017, however, entering Wednesday’s action hitting .067/.067/.067.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.