Ichiro Suzuki, 41, seen here at a batting practice with the Miami Marlins will celebrate his 42nd birthday on October 22nd. Photo courtesy: WMC
MIAMI – At 41-years-old, Ichiro Suzuki is the oldest outfielder in the MLB and he’s just signed another for a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins for the 2016 season.
Suzuki’s contract comes with a $2 million option for 2017, which means he could be sent down to the minor leagues to play, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
In the 2015 season, Suzuki appeared in 153 games for the Miami Marlines due to injuries of players Christian Yelich and Giancalo Stanton. With those players back next year, it may be a little difficult for Suzuki to make as many appearances as he did this year.
Many have speculated that the veteran player may retire soon, but Marlins higher ups are happy to have him coming back for another year.
“Forget the fact he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer and a potential back-of-the-bullpen arm for next year,” said Marlins president David Samson, “He is someone who comes into the clubhouse and gets immediate respect and results.”
With another year to play, Suzuki will also have the opportunity to reach 3000 hits in the MLB, which some consider a major milestone for Baseball Hall of Famers. He needs only an additional 65 hits to accomplish that feat, but he’s also close to breaking 500 stolen bases with 498 stolen already.
This year, he had 91 hits and batted at .229, which is his lowest record in all of the seasons he’s played in the MLB, but it was a memorable end to the season for the ten-time Gold Glove Award winner.
For the first time in his 15-year major league career and in the Marlins’ season finale game on Sunday, October 4, he pitched one inning against Philadelphia.
It was a big moment for Suzuki who hadn’t pitched since a Japan All-Star game in 1996 and a great way for him to end the season.