I read that long piece about Mark Prior over at MLB.com the other day. It was good. But it was missing one key ingredient that this report from CSNChicago.com has:
Prior, who has suffered multiple shoulder injuries, is in the best physical shape of his life, according to two people who have seen him. He has strengthened the area around his shoulder capsule in an attempt to beat the problems that have plagued him for so many years.
After all of these years I don’t think anyone should bet much on Prior coming back. But if he does, it’ll be Team-BSOHL’s greatest accomplishment yet.
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?