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Ichiro close to signing deal to return to Mariners


Bob Nightengale reports that Ichiro Suzuki is close to finalizing one year major league deal with the Seattle Mariners.

Earlier today it was reported that the Mariners’ Ben Gamel has an oblique strain that will put him out 4-6 weeks and that Mitch Haniger has hand tendinitis and hasn’t taken batting practice in six days. 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.

Ichiro may not have much left in the tank — he hit only .255/.318/.332 in 2017 — but he’s healthy and still wants to play in the bigs. Obviously, he knows his way around Safeco Field too, what with the whole “playing the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with the Mariners” thing, so that’s an added bonus.


Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.