Blue Jays claim Mauro Gomez off waivers from Red Sox

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Boston designated Mauro Gomez for assignment last week to clear room on the 40-man roster for Jackie Bradley Jr. and Toronto has claimed the first baseman off waivers.

Gomez held his own in his first taste of the majors last season, hitting .275 with a .746 OPS in 37 games as a 27-year-old rookie, and has hit .307 with a .913 OPS in 235 games at Triple-A.

Toronto dropped David Bush from the 40-man roster to make space for Gomez, who profiles as a productive platoon starter versus left-handed pitching if given an extended opportunity. For now, though, he’ll head back to Triple-A.

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?