Ichiro Suzuki, at 44 years old, is getting closer to continuing his major league career where it all began — with the Seattle Mariners.
The two sides are nearing an agreement on a major league contract.
An injury to outfielder Ben Gamel – who suffered an oblique strain that will keep him sidelined for 4-to-6 weeks – could clear an opportunity with the Mariners for the 10-time All-Star.
Suzuki, now a backup outfielder and pinch-hitter, has said he hopes to play baseball until he his 50.
If a job in the majors had not opened up, he was planning to play in Japan for the 2018 season.
Suzuki spent the past three seasons with the Miami Marlins. New ownership decided not to exercise his $2 million option for 2018 and instead gave him a $500,000 buyout.
The future Hall of Famer has accumulated 3,080 hits over his 17-year major league career. He spent the first 11 1/2 seasons in Seattle before being traded to the New York Yankees in 2012 season.
In his first 10 seasons, he accumulated at least 200 hits each year, including an all-time single-season record of 262 in 2004.