The Marlins are in need of a fourth outfielder as Spring Training draws nearer, and 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki still seems to top their list of potential targets.
According to a report in the Miami Herald on Wednesday, the Marlins have offered Suzuki a one-year contract worth about $2 million, and they are "optimistic, but not certain" they will wind up signing him. MLB.com reported on Sunday that Miami has intensified talks with Suzuki and might be open to a two-year deal.
Suzuki is one of the top outfield options remaining on the free-agent market. At this stage of his career, he appears to fit the profile of what the Marlins are looking for: a left-handed-hitting fourth outfielder.
Suzuki hit .284 with a .664 OPS and 15 stolen bases while playing all three outfield positions in 143 games for the Yankees last year. Now only 156 hits shy of 3,000 in his Major League career, the 41-year-old may be looking for a two-year deal to put him in better position to reach the milestone.
If Suzuki declines Miami's reported offer and signs elsewhere, the club likely would turn to free agent Nate Schierholtz, who is also drawing interest from other clubs. Like Suzuki, the 30-year-old Schierholtz is a left-handed hitter and has spent most of his career in right field.
Schierholtz batted just .195 with a .552 OPS, seven homers and 37 RBIs for the Cubs and Nationals last year, but he combined to hit .261/.314/.442 with 36 homers and 130 RBIs from 2011-13 with the Giants, Phillies and Cubs.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.