Ichiro Suzuki set to return to the Mariners, per reports

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Mariners fans are going to need to root for something this year after all, and having Ichiro around would make what may be a tough season easier to swallow.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today and the MLB Network tweeted Monday morning that the Mariners and Suzuki are "getting close to finalizing" a one-year 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.

Ichiro, 44, last played for the Mariners in 2012, when he was traded to the New York Yankees.

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Ichiro played in 136 games last season for the Miami Marlins and hit.255 with an OPS of.649. He has 3,080 hits in his 17-year career in the U.S. Before coming to the U.S.in 2001, he played professionally in his native Japan for nine years.

Ichiro Suzuki has said on numerous occasions that he would like to continue playing baseball until he's 50.

In his first 10 seasons, he accumulated at least 200 hits each year, including an all-time single-season record of 262 in 2004.