With the Miami Marlins searching for a fourth outfielder, could Ichiro Suzuki be headed to Miami?
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (via Twitter) the Marlins have checked in with the outfielder about potentially being the team’s fourth outfielder in 2015.
After spending the first 11 and a half seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro spent the past two and a half seasons with the New York Yankees, including last season, when he posted a .284/.324/.340 slash line in 385 plate appearances. His 86 wRC+ was 14 runs below league average for the season and his 0.4 fWAR was the second lowest output of his career.
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Suzuki will enter the 2015 season just 156 hits away from 3,000 in his major league career, but it’s very unlikely he’d get enough playing time to get to that total next season, as he had 102 hits last season and 136 the season before. So the allure of signing him for that milestone would be minimal.
With the Marlins already boosting an impressive outfield defense, it minimizes the need for Ichiro to be a late inning replacement injury option for the team in the outfield. However, entering his age-42 season, it’s hard to see how he’d be a decent defender in the outfield at this stage.
Adding Ichiro would be more for name value than value on the field at this point in his career, as he’s coming off a season where he was ineffective both at the plate and in the outfield, for the most part.
In my opinion, Ichiro would make more sense for the Marlins if they still haven’t added an outfielder by the time Spring Training rolls around and Ichiro is still on the market. There are still far better options on the market at this point, including Nate Schierholtz, who author Kristian Cartelle profiled earlier today.