PEORIA, Ariz. — The Seattle Mariners are bringing back Ichiro Suzuki.
Seattle finalized a $750,000, one-year deal with 44-year-old Japanese star on Wednesday after several outfielders got hurt. He can earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $200,000 each for 150 and each additional 50 through 350, and $250,000 for 400.
Suzuki spent the first 11 major league seasons with the Mariners, earning 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP, winning a pair of batting titles and becoming a 10-time All-Star. He was traded to the New York Yankees midway through 2012, played parts of three seasons with the Yankees, then spent three seasons with Miami.
He has a .312 average and 3,080 hits. Suzuki appeared in 136 games last year and hit .255 with a .318 on-base percentage.
Ichiro’s return is similar to the Mariners’ reunion with Ken Griffey Jr. in 2009 that was good for one year but had an ugly conclusion.
There’s no questioning Suzuki’s place in Seattle’s history, on par with Griffey and Edgar Martinez as the finest players in franchise history.