Ichiro not retiring, taking front office role

Mariners legend steps off playing field
Ichiro not retiring, taking front office role
Posted at 11:28 AM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 12:28:09-04

Ichiro Suzuki stepped of the MLB field and into the Mariners front office. 

The Seattle Mariners announced the future Hall-of-Famer will serve as a special assistant to the chairman, effective Thursday, the team announced.

However, Suzuki's agent, John Boggs, wanted to be clear he isn't officially retiring. 

"He's taking on a different role for 2018, and 2019 has yet to evolve," Boggs told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "... The future has yet to be determined."

Ichiro is ineligible to play in 2018 after shifting to the front office, but he could come back next season. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto sees value in the veteran in any role he undertakes in the organization.

"We want to make sure we capture all of the value that Ichiro brings to this team off the field," Dipoto said in a statement. "This new role is a way to accomplish that."

After three years with the Miami Marlins, the 44-year-old returned to Seattle on a one-year deal prior to this season. In 44 at-bats, he collected 8 hits for an average of .205. 

His main role this year was mentorship, an aspect this new role with allow him to maintain. 

"The key is that Ichiro's presence in our clubhouse and with our players and staff improves our opportunity to win games," DiPoto said. That is our No. 1 priority and Ichiro's No. 1 priority."

Suzuki spent his first 12 MLB season with the Mariners and collected 2606 of his 3089 career MLB hits--a mark which ranks 22nd all-time. 

He is a 10-time all-star, 10-time gold-glover, three-time silver slugger, and 2001 MVP and Rookie of the Year. 
Combining his international career in Japan, Suzuki had 4,367 professional hits, the most by any player.