Making official what was reported last week, the Marlins signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com the deal is worth “$2 million plus performance incentives.”
To announce the signing there will be a press conference in Japan attended by Suzuki and Marlins president David Samson, president of baseball operations Michael Hill, and general manager Dan Jennings.
At age 41 he’ll be joining the Marlins in a backup role, playing behind starting outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich.
Between the projected part-time work and Suzuki’s declining production–he hit just .275 during the past four seasons while never cracking a .700 OPS–it’ll be tough for the 10-time All-Star to collect the 156 hits needed to join the 3,000-hit club in MLB. Counting his time in Japan he has 4,122 total hits, which is 134 short of Pete Rose’s record.
It’ll be interesting to see if Suzuki’s style at the plate lends itself to being a productive pinch-hitter. Thanks to almost always being in the starting lineup throughout his career Suzuki’s pinch-hitting numbers are limited, but he’s batted .286 with zero extra-base hits and a .634 OPS in 46 total plate appearances off the bench.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.