Carlos Carrasco to undergo Tommy John surgery next Wednesday

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On Friday, Venezuelan reporter Carlos Zambrano (no, a different one) reported that Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was going to undergo Tommy John surgery.  That was hearsay — he heard it from an Indians farmhand who is friends with Carrasco — but it turns out to be right.  Carrasco will undergo the procedure next Wednesday.

Carrasco will almost certainly miss the entire 2012 season as a result.  Pretty devastating for both him and for a team that needs every available arm to contribute in order to compete.  Indeed, it’s no accident if you track the Indians success this season with Carrasco’s presence and effectiveness in the rotation, there is a huge amount of overlap.

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?