Even at age 44, Ichiro Suzuki still has no plans to hang up his spikes.
Over the weekend Ichiro told reporters in Japan he wants to continue playing even after the cash-strapped Miami Marlins declined his contract option for 2018 a few weeks ago. From the Associated Press:
Suzuki was quoted by Kyodo news agency on Saturday as saying: "I feel like a big dog at a pet shop that hasn't been sold. Of course, I want to play baseball next year."
He was asked if there was any possibility of him returning to play in Japan if he isn't offered an MLB contract.
"When you use the word possibility, there are many things ... it means anything is possible as long as it's not zero." Suzuki said.
Ichiro was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Ichiro Cup youth tournament in his hometown of Toyoyama. Apparently part of the ceremony included a dance:
Ichiro has spent the last three seasons as a reserve outfielder with the Marlins. He hit .255/.318/.332 with three home runs in 215 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions in 2017.
, it would seem some team out there could use Ichiro as a cheap reserve outfielder. His value transcends what he does on the field -- Ichiro helps puts butts in the seats and is one of the most globally recognizable players in the sport.
A reunion with the Seattle Mariners could make sense given Ichiro's history with the team and popularity in Seattle, though the Mariners are loaded with outfielders already. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants all jump to mind as possible destinations.