Ichiro Suzuki wants to play again next season and the Marlins are interested. The veteran outfielder wants to play baseball in 2016, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, and the Marlins have spoken with him about a contract for next season.
"I can definitely say I’ll be playing baseball next year," he said. "Before coming to Miami, I didn’t know much about Miami. I can definitely say the way I feel toward the players, team, city, I’m enjoying it. It’s a good place."
Suzuki, 41, has posted a .253/.308/.291 batting line to complement one home run and 11 RBIs. He was signed to serve as the Marlins' primary left-handed hitter off the bench but has been starting in the outfield while Giancarlo Stanton is sidelined with a hand injury. He is a career .316/.359/.409 hitter and could be valuable for the Marlins if he returns.
After signing him to a one-year deal worth $2 million last offseason, the Marlins will likely make another one year offer. If he decides to return to Miami, Suzuki would continue to guide a young outfield which features Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna, who is currently in Triple-A.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post was among the first to report the Marlins' interest in extending Suzuki, who is in pursuit of his 3,000th career hit.
Miami typically does not discuss contract extensions in the middle of the season although preliminary talks with Suzuki may be underway. His early versatility might 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.
Signing Suzuki to another short term deal would give the Marlins outfield stability and ensure they have a veteran left-handed bat off the bench moving forward. It might be difficult to get a deal done, though, since Suzuki is expected to draw a notable amount of interest.