Ichiro Suzuki is a baseball legend, as he is the all-time major professional baseball hits leader, although his claim to that has been challenged for quite some time, due to some of his hits coming from Japan. He does have 3,080 hits in Major League Baseball, and although he isn’t the star he used to be, he remains a fan favorite.
However, Ichiro is experiencing something a lot of free agents are experiencing this winter: A lack of a market. No team has shown interest in the 44-year old outfielder. Well, no teams in America, that is.
According to Kyodo News and other Japanese news outlets, the Chunichi Dragons and Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball have shown interest in Ichiro. He spent the first seven years of his career in NPB playing for the then Orix BlueWave, after being drafted in the fourth round in the 1991 Draft. Ichiro was a fan of the Dragons growing up, and his hometown isn’t too far from their home field, the Nagoya Dome.
Whether Ichiro returns to Japan remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting the interest. It’s also worth noting that Ichiro’s agent, John Boggs, spoke to MLB.com recently, and mentioned that the outfielder is still holding out hope that an 18th MLB season comes to fruition. Boggs has had talks with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, and Seattle Mariners, but none of these talks turned out to be anything substantial.
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