PEORIA, Ariz. — Could Ichiro Suzuki return home to the Seattle Mariners?

With Monday’s announcement that Ben Gamel has a strained oblique and will miss 4 to 6 weeks, the Mariners need outfield help. Plenty of outfielders are available.

But Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the Mariners will bring back the 44-year-old Ichiro, a fan favorite.

He played for the Mariners from 2001-12, during which he was a 10-time All-Star selection and won 10 Gold Gloves. He was the 2001 American League MVP and Rookie of the Year, and in 2004 set the major-league season record for hits with 262.

Some news outlets in Japan also reported that the Mariners and Ichiro could reunite. Mariners sources declined to confirm Nightengale’s report.

TWINS: Right-hander Ervin Santana left spring training for New York to have his injured middle finger examined.

Santana, out until mid-to-late April following surgery on the finger, could have a cast removed.

“Hopefully he comes back lighter … with the cast off,” Manager Paul Molitor said.

Santana went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 33 starts last season for the Twins, who earned an AL wild-card berth one year after losing 103 games.

RANGERS: Held out of the first 10 spring-training games, Adrian Beltre got hits in his first two at-bats of spring training.

“Last year I didn’t get a hit in spring training,” Beltre said. “How did that work?”

Beltre hit .312 with 17 homers and 71 RBI in 94 games last year after going 0 for 12 with four walks in the exhibition season.

CARDINALS: Shortstop Paul DeJong agreed to a $26 million, six-year contract, a deal that includes team options for 2024 and 2025.

DeJong, 24, made his major league debut May 28, and hit .285 with a team-high 25 homers and 65 RBI in 108 games. He was selected by St. Louis from Illinois State in the fourth round of the 2015 amateur draft.

NATIONALS: Outfielder Alejandro De Aza agreed to a minor-league contract to return to the team.

De Aza was a free agent and led off an exhibition game last week for a team of available big league players against Japanese amateurs in Bradenton, Florida.

RAYS-BRAVES: Tampa Bay traded infielder Ryan Schimpf to Atlanta for a player to be named or cash.

Schimpf was designated for assignment Saturday by Tampa Bay to clear room on the 40-man roster for free-agent outfielder Carlos Gomez, who signed a $4 million, one-year contract.