The first time Dustin Ackley wore a Seattle Mariners uniform during a game, he was playing second base in his major league debut in 2011 after he was drafted No. 2 overall two years earlier.
The last time Ackley was in a Mariners uniform, he was in left field in 2015 a day before he was traded to the Yankees for two prospects who would combine to appear in five games for the Mariners.
The 30-year-old might get another chance with his former club.
The Ack Attack never lived up to the expectations after he rocketed through the Mariners’ minor leagues after raking at the University of North Carolina. But some of that has been pinned on the Mariners for pushing him to the big leagues so early, only to see his career crater.
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Ackley signed a minor league deal to return to his first club on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The Mariners had not officially announced the move, but it was reported to include an invite to big-league spring training. The move is pending a physical.
Ackley gives the Mariners some needed depth at Triple-A Tacoma, which is his likely landing spot if he makes it through spring trianing.
Where has he been?
Ackley hasn’t appeared in a big-league game since 2016 with the Yankees, when he hit .148 (9-for-61) over 28 games before dislocating his shoulder and eventually needing surgery. That was all after the Mariners had selected him just behind No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg and in the same first round the Angels later selected Mike Trout.
He spent the past two seasons with Triple-A Salt Lake of the Los Angeles Angels. Over 72 games last year Ackley hit .286/.378/.398 with four home runs and 39 RBI. He split time between first and second base as well as left field.
During his four and a half seasons with the Mariners, Ackley hit .243/.306/.366.
Pitchers and catchers report to Mariners spring training on Feb. 11, with position players reporting on Feb. 15.