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Rumor Central: Yonder Alonso open to returning to Mariners?

As Yonder Alonso heads into free agency unsure of his next destination, the first baseman reportedly wouldn't mind returning to the Pacific Northwest.

According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, Alonso is open to a return to the Seattle Mariners after they acquired him from the Oakland Athletics in mid-August.

"I love it here," Alonso told Johns. "It's awesome, a first-class group, and they treated me well. I'd love to be back here. I think the future here is very bright, and we're very close to winning, and I would definitely want to be a part of that."

The first-time free agent is coming off a breakout season in which he slashed .266/.365/.501 with 28 home runs and 67 RBIs while making the American League All-Star team. Alonso, 30, hit .265 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 132 at-bats following the trade to Seattle.

He had never hit more than nine home runs in a season prior to 2016.

Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto told Johns that Alonso is a "strong consideration" for Seattle in a free-agent market that includes fellow first basemen Lucas Duda, Mitch Moreland, Logan Morrison and Carlos Santana.

"Yonder did a nice job for us," Dipoto said, per Johns. "First of all, I think he's a good guy in the clubhouse, and we got to experience that. He shows up to work every day. He hits right-handed pitching. He did that for us. ... I think he gave us a presence after we got beyond the middle of our order."

Alonso, who earned $4 million last season, has also played for the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres throughout his seven-year career.

-- Nick Ostiller

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