Report: Marlins ‘intensify’ pursuit of Ichiro
The Marlins’ starting outfield is set with Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, but their lack of depth has left them searching for a fourth outfielder.
Could Ichiro Suzuki fit the bill?
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Marlins’ interest in the 41-year-old outfielder “has begun to intensify.”
The Blue Jays and Orioles also have been linked to Ichiro, who posted a .284/.324/.340 slash line with one homer, 22 RBIs and 15 steals in 143 games for the Yankees last season. The 10-time All-Star and former American League MVP is only 156 hits away from 3,000 in his Major League career.
Ichiro’s experience and speed would be a valuable asset off the bench, but he obviously lacks power — he slugged just .341 over the past two years in New York — and it remains to be seen whether he fits the Marlins’ budget.
As MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted, the Marlins are on track for a payroll around their target of $65 million. Frisaro notes that total would take Miami out of the bidding for James Shields and put them in line for a reasonably priced fourth outfielder.
Ichiro made $6.5 million each of the last two seasons, but that figure is likely to come down considering his age and declining production, particularly if interested teams view him as strictly a fourth or platoon outfielder.