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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.

 

Red Sox reportedly listening to offers on Rick Porcello

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Red Sox are “openly listening” to offers for Rick Porcello. He says that the idea is to shed some salary for bullpen help, though just yesterday Dave Dombrowski said he was not planning on spending a lot of money on the bullpen this winter so who friggin’ knows?

Porcello posted a 4.28 ERA in 33 starts this past season. He is owed $21 million in 2019 and will be a free agent this time next year. Seems hard to imagine a deal that makes sense for him, but I suppose anything can happen.