Ichiro has had a notable amount of success to this point in 2015 and the Marlins' front office is taking notice. Dan Jennings feels Suzuki is a good role model for the Marlins' young core, and according to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, Miami has had internal discussions with regard to bringing Suzuki back next season.
Jennings said Ichiro's "most prepared player been around" Good role model for youngsters. Says #Marlins have (cont)— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 17, 2015
had "internal discussions) about bringing Ichiro back next yr. #Marlins— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 17, 2015
Miami signed Suzuki last offseason to be the club's fourth outfielder. However, as a result of Christian Yelich's stint on the disabled list, Suzuki received a notable amount of starting time earlier this year. Suzuki has also seen time in the Marlins' lineup in American League ballparks and has had enough offensive success to be considered a plus reserve outfield option.
Suzuki, 41, has posted a .289/.342/.338 batting line to complement one home run and 11 RBIs over 63 games. His production is only slightly below the league average and he gives Jennings a left-handed pinch hitting option late in games.
Although the Marlins typically do not discuss contract extensions in the middle of the season, preliminary talks with Suzuki may be underway. His early offensive success may intrigue other teams, and as a result, the Marlins could be determined to sign him to at least a one year extension as soon as possible.
Suzuki will most likely be in pursuit of his 3,000th career hit next season, and barring an injury, reaching the 3,000 mark is likely realistic.
While the Marlins' interest is not entirely known, Suzuki spoke highly of the organization throughout spring training. He expressed how thankful he was to receive an opportunity this late in his career, according to Brad Lefton of The Wall Street Journal, and was likely fond of the fact the Marlins traveled to Japan to formally introduce him to the media and public as a Marlin.
Signing Suzuki at least for another season would give the Marlins outfield stability and ensure the club has an established left-handed pinch hitter moving forward. A deal could get done soon, but even if it doesn't, Miami's interest in Suzuki is something to monitor over the next few weeks.