Seattle Mariners rumors about Ichiro Suzuki can be put to bed for now. While there are still questions about a possible return at the beginning of the 2019 MLB season, Ichiro has now been removed from the 40-man roster. As reported earlier [VIDEO] on Thursday (May 3), Ichiro is transitioning into a new role with the franchise. This selfless act by the Mariners hero and future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame has allowed the team to add someone new to the 25-man roster and opened a spot on the 40-man roster to acquire another player.

As Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish reported, right-handed pitcher Erik Goeddel has taken Ichiro's spot on the 25-man roster.

This gives the bullpen some more depth, while also providing some more playing time for the outfielders currently on the roster. Thursday night against the Oakland Athletics, Dee Gordon is in center field, Mitch Haniger is in right field, and Guillermo Heredia is in left field. That leaves Ben Gamel to come off the bench if necessary. It's still a very deep group of outfielders, as long as Heredia and Gamel can find consistency at the plate.

Updated MLB standings

The team had a tough loss against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night (May 2), leading to a number of fan-generated Seattle Mariners rumors about what the team should do next. When Ichiro failed to come through in the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position, it led to a lot of backlash on social media. That should quiet down now that Ichiro has taken a spot with the Mariners' front office, but does the team need to address the bullpen?

After James Paxton left the game with 16 strikeouts to his credit, the bullpen of the Seattle Mariners blew the game.

The Mariners haven't given away many leads late in games this season, so this could just be an aberration that is self-corrected. The Mariners also just got a boost from the New York Yankees, when the team came back to beat the Houston Astros. In the updated MLB standings, the Astros still lead the American League West with a 20-12 record, but the Mariners aren't too far back at 17-12. The Los Angeles Angels are also playing well, posting an 18-12 record thus far.

Season outlook for the Mariners

The Mariners absolutely need to beat the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night. That would improve the team to 18-12 and keep them with the same number of losses as the Astros and Angels. The Angels play a late game against the Baltimore Orioles, so it's also possible that the Mariners could pass them in the divisional standings. The game isn't just important for how it will affect the standings. Pitcher Wade LeBlanc is making his first start for the team, stepping in to replace the injured Erasmo Ramirez. Can he hold down the fort?

Among all the latest [VIDEO] Seattle Mariners rumors the most important ones will revolve around the starting rotation.

The team hasn't announced its plans, but Ariel Miranda or Roenis Elias could soon be promoted to take over the role as the No. 5 starter. That Mariners are only going to go as far as the back of the rotation will allow them to go. It places additional pressure on Mike Leake, Marco Gonzales, and the eventual fifth starter, but that's what it will take to overcome the talented opponents in the division.