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4 posts from January 2015

January 27, 2015

Marlins announce Ichiro deal; will introduce him in Tokyo press conference

The Marlins late Tuesday night formally announced their one-year deal with 10-time All-Star and 41-year old veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

Team representatives including owner Jeffrey Loria have traveled to Japan for a press conference, scheduled to take place at noon Wednesday.

"He is the ultimate professional on and off the field and will make an excellent addition to our ball club," Loria said in a statement.

Ichiro is the first Japanese player to sign with the Marlins. He is just 156 shy of 3,000.

The news of the deal was first reported last Friday. Suzuki will serve as the team's fourth outfielder.

January 23, 2015

Ichiro agrees to become Marlins fourth outfielder, first-ever Japanese player on club's MLB roster

The Marlins on Friday agreed to a one-year contract with 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki to become the team’s fourth outfielder, a source with direct knowledge said.

The contract, pending a physical, will pay Ichiro, who turned 41 back in October, in the $2 million range.

A 10-time Gold Glove winner, Ichiro hit a respectable .284 for the Yankees last season and stole 15 bases in 385 plate appearances. A career .317 hitter, he was 11 for 25 (.440) as a pinch-hitter for the Yankees the last two seasons.

Tied with former Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez for 48th all-time in MLB history for hits with 2,844, Suzuki is just 156 away from becoming the 29th player to reach the 3,000 mark in his career. With 4,122 professional hits between Japan and the U.S., Suzuki is also only 134 short of Pete Rose's MLB record of 4,256.

Odds are, though, Suzuki won’t reach either mark in 2015 unless the Marlins lose one of their young, talented starters to injury.

As it stands, though, Ichiro’s veteran presence could be a great influence on left fielder Christian Yelich, 23, a fellow left-handed, top-of-the-order hitter who batted .284 and stole 21 bases in his first full major league season last year.

Friday’s news was already being warmly received by Suzuki’s new teammates.

“Big props to the Marlins on adding Ichiro, Japan hit king [and] my homie,” new Marlins first baseman Mike Morse wrote on Twitter.

Morse, who signed a two-year $16 million deal with the Marlins last month, spent four seasons with Suzuki in Seattle.

A former star in Japan, Ichiro began his Major League Baseball career with the Mariners in 2001 and played there until joining the Yankees in 2012. He won American League batting titles twice (2001, 2004) and the MVP award the same season he won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2001.

After hitting .262 with seven homers and 35 RBI in 128 starts in 2013 for the Yankees, he batted .284 with one homer and 22 RBI in 95 starts last season in New York.

Ichiro’s addition is just another move by the Marlins in beefing up the roster around right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a 13-year, $325 million deal back in November with the promise the organization would build around him.

The Marlins made trades to acquire third baseman Martin Prado from the Yankees, second baseman Dee Gordon and pitcher Dan Haren from Dodgers, pitcher Mat Latos from the Reds and then signed Morse to a free agent contract.

The club’s payroll was nearly $65 million prior to the Ichiro deal. That doesn’t include portions of contracts that will be paid by the Dodgers and Yankees in trades for Haren, Gordon and Prado.


Adding Ichiro to the team also gives the Marlins their first Japanese player ever on the big league roster. Here's a look at other Japanese players to make the majors and the teams they played for prior to Friday's news.

NL East
> Mets 12 (Pitchers Hideo Nomo, Takashi Kashiwada, Masato Yoshii, Satoru Komiyama, Kzuhisa Ishii, Shingo Takatsu, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ken Takahashi, Hisanori Takahashi, Ryota Igarashi, infielder Kazuo Matsui, outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo)
> Nationals/Expos 3 (Pitchers Tomokazu Ohka, Hideki Irabu, Masato Yoshii)
> Braves 2 (Pitchers Takashi Saito, Kenshin Kawakami)
> Phillies 2 (Outfielder So Taguchi, infielder Tadahito Iguchi)
> Marlins 0

NL Central
> Brewers 7 (Outfielder Nori Aoki, pitchers Hideo Nomo, Mac Suzuki, Tomokazu Ohka, Takahito Nomura, Takashi Saito)
> Cubs 5 (Pitchers Kyuji Fujikawa, Tsuyoshi Wada, Hisanori Takahashi, outfielders So Taguchi, Kosuke Fukudome)
> Pirates 3 (Infielder Akinori Iwamura, pitchers Masumi Kuwata and Hisanori Takahashi)
> Cardinals 1 (Outfielder So Taguchi)
> Reds 0

NL West
> Dodgers 6 (Pitchers Hideo Nomo, Masao Kida, Kazuhisa Ishii, Takashi Saito, Hiroki Kuroda, infielder Norihiro Nakamura)
> Giants 5 (Pitchers Masanori Murakami, Keiichi Yabu, outfielders Nori Aoki, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Kensuke Tanaka)
> Rockies 3 (Pitchers Mac Suzuki, Masato Yoshii, infielder Kazuo Matsui)
> Padres 2 (Pitcher Akinori Otsuka, infielder Tadahito Iguchi)
> Diamondbacks 1 (Pitcher Takashi Saito)

AL East
> Yankees 7 (Pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, Hideki Irabu, Kei Igawa, Hiroki Kuroda, Ryota Igarashi, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui)
> Red Sox 7 (Pitchers Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Hideo Nomo, Tomokazu Ohka, Takashi Saito, Hideki Okajima, Daisuke Matsuzaka)
> Blue Jays 4 (Pitchers Tomokazu Ohka, Micheal Nakamura, Ryota Igarashi, infielder Munenori Kawasaki)
> Rays 3 (Pitcher Hideo Nomo, outfielder Hideki Matsui, infielder Akinori Iwamura)
> Orioles 1 (Pitcher Koji Uehara)

AL Central
> Indians 4 (Pitchers Tomokazu Ohka, Kazuhito Tadano, Masahide Kobayashi, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome)
> White Sox 3 (Pitcher Shingo Takatsu, infielder Tadahito Iguchi, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome)
> Royals 3 (Outfielder Nori Aoki, pitchers Hideo Nomo, Mac Suzuki, Yasuhiko Yabuta)
> Tigers 2 (Pitchers Hideo Nomo, Masao Kida)
> Twins 2 (Pitcher Michael Nakamura, infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka)

AL West
> Mariners 8 (Pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma, Mac Suzuki, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Masao Kida, Kazuhiro Sasaki, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, catcher Kenji Johjima, infielder Munenori Kawasaki)
> Rangers 7 (Pitchers Koji Uehara, Yu Darvish, Kyuji Fujikawa, Hideki Irabu, Akinori Otsuka, Kazuo Fukumori, Yoshinori Tateyama)
> Athletics 4 (Outfielder Hideki Matsui, pitchers Keiichi Yabu, Hideki Okajima, infielder Akinori Iwamura)
> Angels 3 (Pitchers Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Hisanori Takahashi, outfielder Hideki Matsui)
> Astros 1 (Infielder Kazuo Matsui)

January 21, 2015

A look at the Marlins 25 non-roster spring training invitees

The Marlins announced Wednesday they have Spring Training invitations to 25 non-roster players including 15 minor league free agents.

Those are: 

> Right-handed pitchers Ryan Chaffee (4-2, 4.62 ERA, 44 relief appearances in Double A, Triple A with Angels in 2014), Nick Masset (2-0, 5.80 ERA, 51 appearances with Rockies in 2014), Vin Mazzaro (8-2, 2.81 ERA in 57 relief appearances with Pirates in 2013) and Ryan Reid (5-2, 4.91 ERA, 48 relief appearances in Triple A for Mets in 2014).

> Left-handed pitchers Pat Misch (3-7, 5.07 ERA in 13 starts for Tigers Triple A team in 2013), Chris Narveson (4-7, 5.14 ERA in 15 starts for Cardinals Triple A team in 2013), and Pat Urckfitz (1-2, 2.68 ERA in 47 relief appearances for Astros in Double A, Triple A in 2014).

> Catchers Vinny Rottino (.306, 2 HR, 22 RBI for Nexen of Korean Baseball Organization in 2014) and Jhonatan Solano (.251, 10 HR, 53 RBI for Nationals Triple A team in 2014)

> Infielders Reid Brignac (.222, 1 HR, 10 RBI in 37 games for Phillies in 2014), Don Kelly (.245, 7 RBI, 6 SBs in 95 games with Tigers in 2014), and Scott Sizemore (.266, 7 HR, 41 RBI for Yankees Triple A team in 2014)

> Outfielders Tyler Colvin (.223, 2 HR, 18 RBI in 57 games with Giants in 2014), Cole Gillespie (.243, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 35 games between Mariners-Blue Jays in 2014) and Kenny Wilson (.246, 2 HR, 35 RBI, 31 SBs in 117 games between Double A, Triple A for Blue Jays, Athletics, Twins in 2014).

The following 10 organizational players were extended Spring Training invitations:

> Right-handed pitchers Brian Ellington (2-2, 4.75 ERA, 35 relief apperances in Single A Jupiter in 2014), Trevor Williams (8-7, 3.12 ERA in 26 starts between Single A and Double A in 2014) and Nick Wittgren (5-5, 3.55 ERA, 20 saves for Double A Jacksonville in 2014)

> Catcher Sharif Othman (.172, 5 HR, 17 RBI between Single A Greensboro and Jupiter in 2014)

> Infielders Justin Bohn (.295, 6 HR, 59 RBI, 11 SBs in 111 games between Single A Jupiter and Greensboro in 2014), Austin Nola (.259, 1 HR, 53 RBI for Double A Jacksonville in 2014), Avery Romero (.320, 5 HR, 56 RBI, 10 SBs between Single A Jupiter and Greensboro in 2014), Viosergy Rosa (.292, 15 HR, 95 RBI between Single A Jupiter and Double A Jacksonville in 2014) and Jordany Valdespin (.280, 3 HR, 10 RBI in 52 games with Marlins in 2014)

> Outfielder Austin Wates (.286, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 37 SBs for Astros and Marlins in Triple A in 2014).

Pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout on Feb. 20 in Jupiter, and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 24.

As of today's announcement, the Marlins will have 65 players in Major League Spring Training camp.

January 16, 2015

Miami Marlins avoid arbitration with Cishek, Alvarez, Gordon and Crow

The Marlins avoided arbitration with four players -- Steve Cishek, Henderson Alvarez, Dee Gordon and Aaron Crow -- but failed to reach agreement with three of their other arbitration-eligible players before Friday's 1 p.m. deadline.

Because no deals were worked out with Mat Latos, Mike Dunn and David Phelps before the deadline, the Marlins will go to arbitration hearings with those players. The Marlins don't negotiate with players once the deadline has passed.

Cishek agreed to a contract that will pay him $6,650,000 next season. Alvarez ($4 million), Gordon ($2.5 million) and Crow (1,975,000 plus performance-based incentives) also completed deals.