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The Chunichi Dragons are looking at acquiring major league outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who became a free agent after playing with the Miami Marlins last year, a team source said Friday.

The Dragons are eyeing Ichiro who has 3,080 career major league hits, under the assumption that the 44-year-old will return to NPB after playing 17 seasons in the majors.

The team has been watching the moves of MLB teams concerning the outfielder, and will likely offer a contract to Ichiro after considering his wishes.

Ichiro’s hometown of Toyoyama is next to Nagoya, and his high school, Aikodai Meiden, is just a stone’s throw from the Dragons’ home park, Nagoya Dome.

Earlier this month, Ichiro’s agent John Boggs said there was a possibility Ichiro would end his baseball career in Japan if he did not get an offer in the United States, mlb.com reported.

The Marlins declined their option to sign Ichiro for the 2018 season.

He stated publicly that he wants to play professionally until he is 50.

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