Rays place Wade Davis on disabled list with right forearm strain

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays have placed Wade Davis on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.

Davis allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks over five innings in a no-decision against the Twins yesterday. The Rays inked the 25-year-old right-hander to a long-term contract extension at the end of spring training, but he has largely been a disappointment so far this season. Davis is 7-6 with a 4.25 ERA and 47/38 K/BB ratio over 103 2/3 innings.

The Rays have called up right-hander Brandon Gomes to give them an extra bullpen arm this weekend against the Yankees, but Alex Cobb or Andy Sonnanstine would presumably be the candidates to fill Davis’ spot in the starting rotation following the All-Star break. Davis is eligible to return from the disabled list on July 22, so it’s possible he will only have to miss one start.

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?