In this Sept. 28, 2018, photo, Japan’s Seibu Lions Yusei Kikuchi pitches during a match in Tokorozawa, northwest of Tokyo. The Seattle Mariners have signed Kikuchi to a four-year deal on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 after word first surfaced of an agreement late on New Years Eve. Kikuchi was one of the few starter options remaining on the market and will be joining a team with a long history of success with Japanese players. (Takahiko Kanbara/Kyodo News via AP)
In this Sept. 28, 2018, photo, Japan’s Seibu Lions Yusei Kikuchi pitches during a match in Tokorozawa, northwest of Tokyo. The Seattle Mariners have signed Kikuchi to a four-year deal on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 after word first surfaced of an agreement late on New Years Eve. Kikuchi was one of the few starter options remaining on the market and will be joining a team with a long history of success with Japanese players. (Takahiko Kanbara/Kyodo News via AP) Takahiko Kanbara AP
In this Sept. 28, 2018, photo, Japan’s Seibu Lions Yusei Kikuchi pitches during a match in Tokorozawa, northwest of Tokyo. The Seattle Mariners have signed Kikuchi to a four-year deal on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 after word first surfaced of an agreement late on New Years Eve. Kikuchi was one of the few starter options remaining on the market and will be joining a team with a long history of success with Japanese players. (Takahiko Kanbara/Kyodo News via AP) Takahiko Kanbara AP

TJ Cotterill is the Seattle Mariners and MLB writer for The News Tribune. He started covering MLB full-time in 2018, but before that covered Ken Griffey Jr.’s Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and spent seven years writing about high schools, including four as TNT’s prep sports coordinator. Born and raised in Washington.