The Miami Marlins finally got their man...for the fourth outfield spot.
The Marlins and Ichiro Suzuki have agreed to a contract according to Craig Mish of Sirius XM (H/T MLB Daily Dish)
Hearing Ichiro Suzuki and @Marlins have agreed to terms.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 23, 2015
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the deal is a one-year contract, likely at the $2 million that the Marlins supposedly offered Ichiro.
Source: #Marlins indeed closing in on Ichiro, as @craigmish reported. Deal expected to be one year in $2M range.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 23, 2015
Ichiro will take over the fourth outfield spot that was previously held by Reed Johnson last season. Johnson was a minor league signing with a Spring Training invite, but he beat out likely incumbent Brian Bogusevic when the latter struggled. Johnson recorded 201 plate appearances in 2014, thanks in part to a mostly healthy season from the trio of outfielders who is expected to return in full force in 2015. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna are the backbone of the 2015 club's offense, and Ichiro will only be expected to spell them, pinch-hit, and perhaps serve as an outfielder or DH in American League games.
The Marlins have targeted Ichiro for the fourth outfield spot for some time with their leftover money, and the suspicion is that this expenditure will be the last one for the Fish this offseason. The Marlins are tacking $2 million more to their roster that was already expected to reach just about $65 million without counting the money provided by other teams. That puts the Fish above budget at $67 million. Though they will still monitor the market for James Shields, do not expect the club to make further moves.
Previously, Miami was open to a two-year contract with Ichiro. but they offered a one-year deal and it worked out. The 41-year-old outfielder is no guarantee to even be effective next season, let alone reach the vaunted 3,000-hit milestone that is somewhat within reach. If the Marlins give Ichiro enough plate appearances to reach that milestone, unfortunately something must have gone wrong during their year.
Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for more details on their 2014-2015 offseason!