It looks like Ichiro will be a Mariner again


SEATTLE -- Ichiro, who left the Mariners in 2012, seems likely to be coming back.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Monday that Ichiro, 44, is close to signing a one-year deal with the team.

Then reports from The Seattle Times and Greg Johns at followed that Ichiro would sign with the team if he passed a physical.

The report comes after the Mariners said outfielder Ben Gamel will miss four to six weeks with an oblique injury. That could offer a spot to Ichiro.

The USA Today report has been confirmed by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

Ichiro was signed by the Mariners in 2001 from Japan's Orix Blue Wave, where he had spent his first seven seasons. He made a huge impact right out of the gate, and was named both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, winning the batting title at .350 as the Mariners set a record with 116 victories. He had an 11-year stint with the Mariners, leading the league in hits seven times and notching a record streak of 10 consecutive years with 200 or more hits.

He was traded to the New York Yankees in 2012 and later signed with the Miami Marlins. He's a career .312 hitter with 3,080 career MLB hits and holds the Major League record for number of hits in a season at 262, set in 2004.

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