Peter Bourjos is feeling much better

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Angels’ center fielder Peter Bourjos is looking to be back in the Angels’ lineup sometime this weekend, feeling much better after some rehab for his hamstring.

According to the Orange County Register, top prospect Mike Trout is likely to stay with the team for a little bit overlapping with Bourjos return, but it probably means that he’s heading back to the minors.  Which isn’t too big a deal really. Dude is a beast, but he’s also 1 for 10 with a walk in three games since being called up.  One doesn’t judge anything based on such a microscopic sample size, but even if he went 10 for 10, it would be hard to say that he couldn’t benefit with a bit more time down on the farm.

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?