MIAMI – Veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki signed a one-year contract to stay with the Miami Marlins in 2016, the team announced Tuesday.
According to a baseball source, the deal is worth about $2 million, the same figure as his first one-year pact with the club signed in January.
“(Re-signing Ichiro) is a major announcement because of what he adds to this team,” Marlins president David Samson said at an end-of-season press conference.
“Bringing him back in the same role was important to us, given our injury history with outfielders,” Samson said. “In baseball you need a productive bench, and having a reliable fourth outfielder is an important piece in becoming a playoff team.”
Ichiro, currently 65 hits shy of 3,000 in the majors, joined the youthful Marlins as a backup but saw action in a team-leading 153 games as injuries plagued the roster. He batted .229 with 91 hits and 11 stolen bases.
“(Ichiro’s) preparation is unparalleled,” said Michael Hill, the Marlins president of baseball operations. “It’s amazing how he prepares himself for the game of baseball. He sets a great example for other players.”
A 10-time American League All-Star since coming to the majors in 2001 from the Orix BlueWave, Ichiro played 11 full seasons for the Seattle Mariners before a 2012 trade to the New York Yankees and his free-agency move to Miami after the 2014 season.
He holds the current record for most hits in a single season at 262, a mark he set in 2004, and recorded 10 consecutive seasons with at least 200 hits until 2010.
Ichiro turns 42 years old on Oct. 22.