OK, the question was kind of loaded.
Former Mariners great Jay Buhner was asked on an ESPN 710 radio show today whether the Mariners should bring Ichiro Suzuki back for something like $35 million-$40 million over three years, and he decided to go all Carmelo Anthony on the subject. The Seattle Times has the quote:
“I’d vomit,” Buhner said. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.”
Nope, especially not when that one guy has been a liability two years running.
The Mariners are making noises about bringing back Ichiro for 2013 and beyond, but there’s a good chance it’s just talk, and even if it isn’t, they can’t possibly be thinking about giving him a three-year deal. Really, even if he plays a little better over the rest of this season, it’s hard to imagine another team giving him anything more than a one-year, $5 million deal.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.