Seattle Mariners: Ichiro chose wisely by returning to M’s
On Monday, the Seattle Mariners and free agent Ichiro Suzuki agreed to a one-year deal.
Ichiro returns to Seattle at just the right time. The M’s have enough talent to make the postseason with Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano leading the charge.
At the age of 44, Ichiro will probably get plenty of time in the field/lineup throughout the regular season. This could be his final season in the bigs and by ending his career where it all began could make 2018 more enticing for baseball fans.
The former all-star can still make contact at this stage in his career and he is known as a true professional in the clubhouse, which would help Seattle as they continue to utilize young talent.
This small contract is perfect for both sides. The Seattle Mariners could use Ichiro as a lead-off man if Dee Gordon needs a breather. He could, occasionally, be a DH and be paired with Gordon in the first two spots of the Mariners lineup to create a crafty, but fierce speed combo.
What A Smart Move By The Seattle Mariners
With Guillermo Heredia coming back from right shoulder surgery in October and Ben Gamel set to miss 4-6 weeks due to a strained oblique, Ichiro could find himself in left field on many days throughout the first few weeks of the season.
The M’s haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001. However, this current group of Seattle Mariners has the makings of a club that can challenge foes in the American League.
Seattle’s lineup includes Cano, Gordon, Nelson Cruz, Ryon Healy and Jean Segura. Their bullpen consists of David Phelps, Nick Vincent, James Pazos and Mark Rzepczynski.
The biggest concern lies with the M’s rotation. James Paxton, Ariel Miranda, and Mike Leake have to improve upon their 2017 stats in order for Seattle to maximize their potential.
Ichiro won’t produce a ton of memorable stat lines in 2018, but he could find himself in a situation where he has to make an extremely important play.