Ichiro Suzuki agrees to minor-league deal with Mariners

Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Seattle Mariners, paving the way for the 45-year-old 10-time All-Star to play in the Mariners’ season-opening series in Japan against the A’s.

Suzuki’s agent, John Boggs, confirmed the agreement Wednesday and said Suzuki’s deal would become a major-league contract if he is added to Seattle’s roster for the two games the Mariners will play against the A’s to open the season in March in Tokyo.

Suzuki started last season playing for the Mariners but transitioned into a front-office role as a “special assistant to the chairman” that allowed him to take part in pregame workouts and batting practice but not to be in the dugout during games. The move ended his season abruptly but with the knowledge that Seattle was opening 2019 in Japan, which would be a highly anticipated opportunity for him to play in his home country. Suzuki was hitting .205 in 44 at-bats during his limited action in 2018, and all nine of his hits were singles.

Suzuki has a .311 career batting average and 3,089 hits, not including the 1,278 hits he amassed in nine seasons in Japan.

•The Milwaukee Brewers promoted general manager David Stearns, adding president of baseball operations to his title and giving him a contract extension after the team came within one win of the World Series.

•The Baltimore Orioles hired Don Long as hitting coach and Doug Brocail as pitching coach under first-year manager Brandon Hyde. Long spent the past five seasons as the hitting coach of the Cincinnati Reds; Brocail was the Texas Rangers’ pitching coach for the past three years.

ELSEWHERE

Vonn ‘hopeful’ she can return

Lindsey Vonn isn’t quite done yet.

The most successful female skier in World Cup history said that she remains “hopeful” she can fix her ailing knees and race again. She just doesn’t know when — or if — that will be possible.

“I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens,” Vonn, 34, wrote on Instagram. “I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it.”

The announcement came three days after Vonn hinted at immediate retirement after failing to finish a super-G in Italy, citing pain in her knees.

Basketball: An investment group led by Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai has bought the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Terms were not disclosed. Previous Liberty owner James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, put the team up for sale in 2017.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ichiro-Suzuki-agrees-to-minor-league-deal-with-13556755.php.

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