Reaction: Ichiro Signs With The Miami Marlins


As Travis Honeycutt over at Miami Maniac mentioned, the Miami Marlins signed veteran outfielder and former Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki.

On Friday Jon Heyman confirmed that the Miami Marlins had signed Ichiro to a 1-year, $2 million contract. It’s a great move for the Marlins, as they have their 4th outfielder to backup a young, stud cast led by 300 million dollar man Giancarlo Stanton.

As a backup, it will be hard for Ichiro to hit his 3,000 hits milestone in 2015. He has 156 more hits to go. But, the chance to be the first Japanese-born player to play for the Marlins is a great opportunity for his exposure.

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For the Mariners, though, it is better that Ichiro isn’t coming back.

From a strictly baseball standpoint, there isn’t a viable spot on the roster for a veteran left-handed outfielder. The Mariners filled that spot with former San Diego Padre Seth Smith. Ichiro would be a 5th outfielder on a team with so many young outfielders he would only take up at-bats and a spot on the 25-man roster.

From the more subjective, ‘feely’ standpoint, it still makes sense for Ichiro to play elsewhere. When the M’s traded Ichiro to the Yankees in 2012, it was a necessary separation– Ichiro had given all he could to this franchise, and he wanted the chance to win a Championship with a team that was ready to compete for a World Series.

The Mariners weren’t ready back then. But now, in 2015, the Mariners have the opportunity to compete and win and make a run in the playoffs. Ichiro wanted to leave, and the Mariners granted that with a trade.

But today, the Mariners aren’t known as ‘Ichiro’s old team.’ They are Felix Hernandez‘s team, they’re Robinson Cano‘s team. Kyle Seager, Mike Zunino, James Paxton.

This team has an identity: pitching and defense, with a few new boomsticks to boost the offense.

They don’t need Ichiro anymore. And Ichiro doesn’t need the Mariners anymore.

We wish him the best in Miami, and I think we all want to see him get to 3,000 hits. Those hits shouldn’t ever come with the Mariners, though.