Marlins open to Ichiro Suzuki returning in 2016

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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki recently tied and surpassed Ty Cobb for second on the unofficial professional hits leaderboard. He entered Saturday’s game against the Phillies with 2,923 hits in the major leagues, leaving him 77 hits shy of another major milestone — 3,000 MLB hits.

The Marlins would be open to the 41-year-old returning to the team for the 2016 season to join the 3,000 hit club, Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Ichiro is on pace to finish with 105 hits, which would mean 26 more hits between now and the end of the season, putting him at 2,949. Assuming he would hit somewhere in the .250-.270 area with enough at-bats, he would likely claim his 3,000th hit during the first half of the season.

Ichiro carried a .265/.317/.326 batting line with one home run, 20 RBI, and 36 runs into Saturday night’s game. He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Marlins in January and went into the season as a back-up outfielder. A combination of injuries and poor performance led to Ichiro getting much more playing time than initially anticipated.

Denard Span likely to retire from baseball

Denard Span
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Veteran outfielder Denard Span is likely to hang up his spikes, per Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune. Span told Reusse, “I haven’t announced it officially, but maybe this is it.”

Span says he received several minor league contract offers, but added that “they didn’t seem right as far as having a chance to move up to the big club if I was doing well in Triple-A.”

The 38-year-old hasn’t played in the majors since 2018 with the Rays and Mariners. Over 501 combined plate appearances, he hit .261/.341/.419 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI.  The Mariners did not pick up his 2019 option and he didn’t end up playing anywhere last year, even in the minors.

If this is it for Span, he would wrap up an 11-year major league career during which he suited up for five different teams: the Twins, the Nationals, and Giants as well as the Rays and Mariners. Notably, he accrued 1,498 hits, scored 773 runs, and stole 185 bases.