Seattle: Now that Ichiro Suzuki is back with the Seattle Mariners, he hopes to stick around a while.
“I think everybody hears that I want to play until I’m 50,” he said through a translator. “But I want to make sure everybody understands that I always say at least 50.”
The 44-year-old outfielder rejoined his former team on Wednesday with a $750,000, one-year contract.
“Even in the off-season when I would go back to Japan, I always came back to Seattle. This was my home… has always been my home,” he said. “Somewhere deep inside, I wanted to return and wear this uniform again.”
Suzuki was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year with Seattle in 2001. He was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2012 season and spent three years in Miami.
Suzuki has a .312 career average and 3,080 hits, not including the 1,278 hits he totalled in Japan. He played 136 games last year for the Marlins and hit .255 with a .318 on-base percentage.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said discussions about Suzuki’s return intensified about a week ago, when the club’s outfield injury situation became a greater concern.
“It did not take very long to put a deal together that brought Ichiro back home,” Dipoto said.