Jair Jurrjens MRI comes back negative; which is a positive

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Good news from Atlanta: Jair Jurrjens’ MRI results are back and there is no structural damage in his shoulder:

Jurrjens said that the Braves doctors didn’t give him a specific
timetable about when he could start pitching again.  But he’s under the
impression that he could begin a throwing program within the next few
days and still be in line to be ready to make his first
scheduled regular season start.

“It’s
a big relief,” Jurrjens said.  “I wasn’t worried.  But any time they
start talking about having to have an MRI, it’s not something you want
to hear.”

As a Braves fan who was doing everything he could to talk himself into Kris Medlen in the 2010 rotation, I share his relief.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?