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Ichiro close to signing deal to return to Mariners

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Bob Nightengale reports that Ichiro Suzuki is close to finalizing one year major league deal with the Seattle Mariners.

Earlier today it was reported that the Mariners’ Ben Gamel has an oblique strain that will put him out 4-6 weeks and that Mitch Haniger has hand tendinitis and hasn’t taken batting practice in six days. Between that, the fact that Guillermo Heredia is recovering from shoulder surgery and the fact that one of their healthy outfielders — Dee Gordon — is actually a second baseman means that there are some opportunities for outfielders with Seattle.

Ichiro may not have much left in the tank — he hit only .255/.318/.332 in 2017 — but he’s healthy and still wants to play in the bigs. Obviously, he knows his way around Safeco Field too, what with the whole “playing the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with the Mariners” thing, so that’s an added bonus.

 

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.