Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is steeping off the baseball field and entering the team’s front office. Mariners announced on Thursday that the 44-year-old Suzuki will serve as a special assistant to the chairman for the rest of the 2018 season.
“We want to make sure we capture all of the value that Ichiro brings to this team off the field,” – said Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “This new role is a way to accomplish that. While it will evolve over time, the key is that Ichiro’s presence in our clubhouse and with our players and staff improves our opportunity to win games. That is our No. 1 priority and Ichiro’s No. 1 priority.“
With this move, Ichiro Suzuki won’t be able to join an active roster of any MLB team for the rest of the season. But that doesn’t mean he will retire according to player’s agent John Boggs.
“Seattle is where he wants to be and where he’s most comfortable,” – Boggs told ESPN. “He’s very appreciative of them bringing him back. This was the most creative way to keep him within the organization and still give him an opportunity to play if that’s what happens in 2019. At this point, he does not intend to retire. Obviously, he will not be playing in 2018. But 2019 has yet to evolve.”
After starting his professional baseball career in his native Japan, Ichiro Suzuki joined Seattle Mariners and immediately made an impact in MLB winning American League MVP in his rookie season. He went on to play 11 years for the Mariners and earn 10 straight All-Star appearances (2001-2010). In 2012 he was traded to New York Yankees where he spent two years before joining Miami Marlins. Marlins decided not to take the team option on his contract for 2018 and Suzuki ended up agreeing to a one-year deal with the Mariners.