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 Wednesday with a $750,000, one-year contract.
“Even in the offseason 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 totaled 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.
TWINS 8, RED SOX (SS) 1
J.D. Martinez went 0 for 2 in his Boston debut, hitting a pair of flyballs. Martinez, who signed with the Red Sox in late February, batted cleanup and played left field. Jake Odorizzi gave up a run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings in his second start for Minnesota. Twins newcomer Logan Morrison got two hits and Miguel Sano doubled.
PHILLIES 2, RED SOX (SS) 1
Philadelphia opening day starter Aaron Nola gave up just one hit in four strong innings, striking out five. Drew Hutchison, who signed a minor league deal in February, worked three solid innings for the Phillies, giving up a run on two hits while striking out four. Newcomer Carlos Santana got a hit and is batting .211.
MARLINS 7, ASTROS 6
Gerrit Cole worked 3 2/3 innings in his third start for Houston, striking out four and allowing four hits. Jose Altuve homered and George Springer got a hit and is batting .368 this spring. Lewis Brinson, acquired from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich trade, continued to make a strong case for a major league roster spot by getting two hits, including his fifth double of the spring.
YANKEES 11, METS 4
Mets starter Zack Wheeler scattered four hits and fanned four in three scoreless innings. Travis d’Arnaud homered for the first time this spring.
Brett Gardner got two hits and well-traveled Billy McKinney, who has been part of trades for both Jeff Samardzija and Aroldis Chapman, hit a grand slam for his fourth homer for the Yankees.
CARDINALS 4, NATIONALS 3
Adam Wainwright worked 3 2/3 innings in his second start of the spring for St. Louis. Cardinals closer Luke Gregerson is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of days with tightness in his oblique. Washington starter Max Scherzer struck out four and gave up a home run to Greg Garcia.
ORIOLES 7, RAYS 2
Jose Mesa, the 24-year-old son of the former major league reliever of the same name, gave up a run on two hits in two innings for Baltimore. Danny Valencia drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, raising his spring batting average to .411 for the Orioles. Tampa Bay lefty Blake Snell allowed two hits over three innings.
BLUE JAYS (SS) 6, TIGERS 5
Victor Martinez hit his third home run of the spring for Detroit. Dalton Pompey had two hits and a steal for Toronto.
BLUE JAYS (SS) 13, PIRATES 4
Russell Martin, playing third base, and Curtis Granderson each hit their third home runs for Toronto. J.A. Happ gave up two hits and two walks in his three-inning start. Josh Bell homered for Pittsburgh.