SEATTLE (AP) _ Jay Buhner will return to Seattle for his 14th consecutive season with the Mariners, agreeing Thursday to a one-year contract.

Buhner, 36, had a $1.45 million base salary last season, when he hit .253 with 26 home runs and 82 RBIs in 112 games for Seattle.

He lost his starting right fielder's job with the Mariners last month when the team signed free agent Ichiro Suzuki. Buhner is expected to back up Suzuki in right, play some in left field and play a few games at first base behind John Olerud.

Buhner also can be used as a backup DH to Edgar Martinez and as a pinch-hitter.

``I'm excited about coming back next year,'' he said. ``After having the injuries the previous two seasons, last season was very rewarding for me, especially considering what we accomplished as a team.

``I'm glad we could get this worked out so we can concentrate on a successful 2001 season. Seattle is home for me and my family and I've always planned on finishing my career with the Mariners.''

Buhner, who missed much of 1998 and 1999 because of injuries, was acquired by the Mariners on July 21, 1988, in a trade that sent Ken Phelps to the Yankees.

``He's a key part of our organization both on and off the field and his return last season was a big part of our success,'' Mariners general manager Pat Gillick said.

Buhner has 308 home runs, 82nd on the career list.