Marlins offer Ichiro Suzuki one-year, $2 million contract
The Marlins pursuit of Ichiro Suzuki continues, as the club has offered him a one-year deal “in the $2 million range,” reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
"The Marlins have offered a one-year contract in the $2 million range to Ichiro and the Marlins remain optimistic, but not certain, that a deal will be struck.Ichiro, a 10-time All-Star, likes the idea of playing in Miami but has been waiting to see if an opportunity arises where he could earn more playing time elsewhere. Resolution is expected soon."
On Sunday, news surfaced that talks between the Marlins and Ichiro were “progressing” and that the team was willing to offer a two-year deal. The Marlins appear to really want him as their fourth outfielder. It’s encouraging that Ichiro likes the idea of playing in Miami, but a one-year deal for a 41 year-old with a ton of mileage on his legs might make more sense. For his career spanning 23 seasons between Japan and the U.S., Ichiro has amassed 13,761 PA. That is an absurd amount of baseball.
Over his 14 MLB seasons Ichiro boasts a .317/360/.411/110 OPS+. Last year with the Yankees he hit .284/.324/.340 in 385 plate appearances. He also stole 15 bags in 2014, so he can still fly. Even at his age, Suzuki would be a commodity for any team. The Marlins have arguably the best starting outfield in baseball, and would be even more daunting with the left handed Ichiro complementing them off the bench.
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“Optimistic, but not certain” can basically sum up the Marlins off-season so far. They have said the same thing about their chances of signing James Shields, but that’s all but out of the picture at this point. The same goes for locking down their young talent like Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Adeiny Hechavarria. A while back, the team had reportedly begun long-term contract negotiations with those players, yet they all remain unsigned.
Jackson notes that a resolution is expected soon, so we’ll know if Ichiro will be a Marlin before long. Miami is also considering free agent Nate Schierholtz as a fall back option if Ichiro signs elsewhere.
Personally, I would absolutely love to see Ichiro in Marlins red-orange. It’s just a blast to watch him play baseball. His numbers have dropped off a bit over the last few years, but he’s still a positive-WAR player in his part-time action. And $2 million is a bargain for a veteran who made $6.5 million each of the last two years.