Miami is looking to add a fourth outfielder this offseason, and according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, is interested in both Nate Schierholtz and Ichiro Suzuki, who are free agents. Frisaro adds the Marlins are specifically seeking a left-handed hitting outfielder with Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton both batting from the right side of the plate.
with interest in Ichiro and Schierholtz #Marlins clearly targeting lefty bat off the bench— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) January 5, 2015
Although the Marlins are interested in Suzuki, he has been linked to the Orioles in recent weeks. Suzuki, 41, posted a .284/.324/.340 batting line to complement one home run and 22 RBIs in 143 games with the Yankees. He would fit in the sense that Miami would not likely place him in the lineup daily, and he may be able to be used as a pinch hitter late in games. Suzuki was average defensively in right field last season with New York, but his speed might be beneficial at Marlins Park. He stole 15 bases last season, and could add more speed to a Miami lineup already featuring Dee Gordon.
While Suzuki was able to post solid offensive numbers in 2014, Schierholtz, 30, struggled with the Cubs and Nationals. He posted a .195/.243/.309 batting line to complement seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 122 games. Schierholtz, with consistent appearances, could be able to provide left-handed power, which is something the Marlins' lineup lacks. He hit 21 home runs with Chicago in 2013, and like Suzuki, would be a solid option coming off the bench late in games.
Adding Schierholtz, Suzuki, or another veteran outfielder should be affordable for the Marlins. Suzuki at this point in his career will likely be seeking a one-year contract. Schierholtz may be in pursuit of the same, hoping to bounce back and sign a multiyear deal moving forward.
Despite the fact that the Marlins will consider the free agent outfield market, the organization could also explore trade options. Dan Haren, who ideally would be pitching on the West Coast in 2015, could be dealt to the Padres for Will Venable, and David Murphy may be another trade possibility.
Miami had one of baseball's best outfields in 2014, and the addition of a left-handed fourth outfielder will give the Marlins notable depth which should guide them throughout 2015.