Ichiro Suzuki Fully Plans To Play In 2015 And Perhaps Beyond


Thirteen years ago, the Seattle Mariners had an All-Star outfielder who won the Rookie of the Year, American League MVP a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger. Now, after being away from the Mariners for the past two and a half seasons, is Ichiro Suzuki on his way back to the Emerald City?

More from Mariners Rumors

We ran a story last month showing a “celebrity sighting” if you will of Ichiro having lunch in a Seattle suburb. In that article, we pointed out that he wanted to play in 2015. We speculated that perhaps Ichiro – now a free agent – would like to return to Seattle to finish his Hall of Fame career.

Charlie argued for a return while Matt took a stance against it. Some had thought at 41, he may just retire.

Now, according to an exclusive interview with Bob Costas that will air on MLB Network Monday, Ichiro has “every intention” of playing in 2015. According to the report by Chad Jennings of the Journal News:

"“I have every intention of playing in the Major Leagues next year,” Ichiro said during an MLB Network interview airing on Monday. “Where will that be? I cannot tell you because baseball is not an individual sport and so it’s not just up to my feeling that I want to play. Somebody has to feel that they want to give me the opportunity to play. But I have every intention of playing.”"

So, why not Seattle? He’s not the hitter he once was, but talk about one hell of a pinch-hitting option off the bench, part-time relief outfielder and part-time designated hitter.

He’s familiar with Safeco Field, the Seattle media, the area, the fans.

He’s 156 hits away from 3,000 in his MLB career, which, given the amount of at-bats would be a stretch to get in 2015 (he had 102 hits in 2014 and 136 in 2013). But if he stays healthy – which he shows no signs to the contrary – he could get enough at-bats to get to 3,000 next year. What a moment that would be for Seattle fans and the Mariners.

Ichiro, no doubt wants to be on a contender and the Mariners are definitely on the right track to be there next year. And he will probably come fairly cheap (one or two years at $5 million per year).

So, once again, I say….why not?