Ichiro close to signing a deal to return to the Mariners

Feb 25 2018 Peoria AZ USA Seattle Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Ichiro Suzuki is going back to Seattle. Sources say he will sign once he clears a physical test.

Ichiro played in 136 games for the Marlins last season, predominantly as a pinch hitter.

Ichiro signed with the Mariners in 2001 after a phenomenal career in Japan for the Orix Blue Wave of NPB. Mitch Haniger is also now injured with a sore right hand. Another returning outfielder, Guillermo Heredia, is coming off shoulder surgery and is being worked in slowly.

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Longtime Major League outfielder Ichiro Suzuki soon could return to the Seattle Mariners, the team with which he made his United States debut, USA Today reported.

The new deal comes just four months after Ichiro became a free agent when he was released by the Miami Marlins.

Ichiro, who played in the All-Star Game 10 times during his 11 years with Seattle, between 2001 and 2012, holds the franchise's all-time best batting average at.322 and has the most hits with 2,533. The move by Miami was the beginning of their payroll purge that new ownership, led by Derek Jeter, carried out during the offseason.

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Ichiro has already reached the 3,000 hit milestone in his Major League Baseball career, he's just looking for longevity at this point.

On July 4 of a year ago, Ichiro's batting average was.202, but the remainder of the season he hit.315 and finished at.255.

The 44-year-old outfielder and the Mariners reportedly are "close" to agreeing on a one-year deal for the upcoming season. But he managed 27 pinch hits, one short of a single season record.

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