The Miami Marlins officially picked up the contract option on outfielder Ichiro Suzuki on Wednesday to keep him with the organization for the 2017 season. 

The Marlins announced the decision on their official Twitter feed. Ichiro is scheduled to make $2 million during the final year of the current deal, per Spotrac.

One year ago, it appeared the 42-year-old legend was finally starting to fade. The Japanese superstar posted a career-low .282 on-base percentage and finished with a negative WAR (-0.7) for the first time, according to FanGraphs.

Ichiro bounced back in a significant way during the 2016 campaign, though. While he didn’t make the type of daily impact he did during his prime with the Seattle Mariners, his .354 OBP was back in line with his career average while he filled various voids for the club.

The 10-time All-Star also reached a couple of milestones during the season.

In June, he passed longtime Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose with his 4,257th career hit between his time in MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The outfielder told Joe Frisaro of through an interpreter he wasn’t interested in the debate about being the true hit king.

“I don’t think you can compare,” Ichiro said. “Obviously, it’s a combined record. So I always just say, ‘What people think about that record, if they recognize it, I’ll be happy.’ But obviously, 3,000, it’s a no-doubter. Obviously, it’s a record here. So that is a goal I want to achieve.”

He accomplished the latter task in August with a triple against the Colorado Rockies. He expressed concerns about how he had achieved the mark, but his resurgent play alleviated them, per David Waldstein of the New York Times.

“Are you at the end and can barely play and are just chasing this number and can barely get there?” Ichiro said. “Or are you part of a team trying to win ballgames, going about your business properly as you go past that number? I think that is what I want to experience, and that is what is important for me.”

Looking ahead, Ichiro figures to play the role of fourth outfielder again next season behind the triumvirate of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.

He can still play all three outfield spots at age 42, which will lead to a few starts per week. Per FanGraphs, he posted a plus-six defensive runs saved figure this season, and that also allows him to serve as a defensive replacement in the late innings off the bench.


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