Miami Marlins Rumors: Team Interested in Re-Signing Ichiro Suzuki?


The Miami Marlins, in need of a fourth outfielder reached out to former star Ichiro Suzuki this off-season, reportedly talked about signing a 2-year deal. Ultimately Ichiro opted for a 1-year deal with the Marlins.

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It made sense for both sides at the time to make it a one-year arrangement. The Miami Marlins risked signing a guy was entering his age 41-season and Ichiro was not 100% sure how his arrangement with the Marlins would go, as the National League lacks a DH spot to get him as many at bats as possible.

After less than half a season, the Miami Marlins are already having “internal discussions” about bringing back the former star outfielder. This is according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Ichiro has definitely  had some sort of effect on the Marlins younger players, as you can see those younger players talking to Ichiro mid-game after an at bat or after coming off the field from playing defense. Ichiro is also on his quest for 3,000 hits, currently just 115 hits shy, with 2,885 hits to his name.

Ichiro would require a monster second half to get to 3,000 hits this season, so it’s more likely that Ichiro will reach that target in 2016. ZiPS projections currently projects him to finish the season with 2,947 hits, 53 shy of the 3,000 mark.

While we know the Marlins are interested in re-upping, there has been no word from Ichiro’s camp if he feels the same.

Ichiro Suzuki began his major league career with the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and it would not be surprising for him to want to return there after the season and accomplish his 3,000 hit mark there.

On the season, Suzuki owns a .289/.342/.338 slash line in 155 plate appearances. His line, while not terrible for a fourth outfielder, is 10 percent below league average, mainly due to the lack of pop from his bat at this stage of his career.

In addition to the lack of pop, Ichiro has graded out 1 run below average, per Fangraphs, on the basepaths and his defense has left a lot to be desired. Defensive Runs Saved (or DRS) has Ichiro grading out at -7 runs total.

His overall play has graded out as below replacement level in 2015. Fangraphs WAR (or fWAR) of -0.2, while Baseball Reference (of bWAR) grades him out a -0.8, which is actually the worst mark on the team.

While Ichiro is clearly not the same player he was 5 years ago in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners (4.7 fWAR), he does have some benefits for the Marlins franchise. His pursuit of 3,000 should definitely draw national attention and his Japanese marketability has probably gotten the team a few extra fans.

Bringing him back next season would not be the worst idea ever, as the former star chases down 3,000 hits. If he gets around the same salary at this season ($2 million) it won’t hurt the Marlins too much to employ a 42-year old that will be pursuing history.

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