The Miami Marlins have completed their search for a fourth outfielder by securing the services of Ichiro Suzuki, according to a report by SiriusXM.
The deal is for one year at a cost of $2 million. It is a substantial reduction from the money Suzuki has seen in his career but he will no longer hold a starting role.
Suzuki is chasing 3,000 hits but is unlikely to accomplish that feat in 2015. Barring injuries, the starting outfield is set with Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton. Suzuki will find a bulk of his at-bats in a pinch-hitting role. The veteran will also see some starts when the regulars need a day off.
In his illustrious MLB career, Suzuki has amassed 2,844 hits. The common theory is that Suzuki will need to play at least two more years to pick up 156 hits. Last season while with New York Yankees, Suzuki had the lowest at-bat total of his career at 359. In those at-bats, Suzuki compiled 102 hits and a .284 batting average.
The contract does not appear to have an option clause on it which means Suzuki will hit the free-agent market again after the 2015 season. Should he inch closer to the coveted 3,000 hit mark, Suzuki could become a more in-demand player next off-season.
It is widely believed that Suzuki will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame after he retires. If so, he would join Andre Dawson as one of only two enshrined players who spent time in a Marlins uniform.
The Marlins will begin reporting to spring training on February 20th.