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Ichiro Suzuki, Marlins Part Ways; 44-Year-Old OF Enters Free Agency

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

Miami Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki runs to first as he grounds out during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Miami. The Marlins won 10-2. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Ichiro Suzuki's three-year stint as a member of the Miami Marlins has come to an end.

The Marlins announced Friday they have declined Suzuki's team option for 2018, making him a free agent.

Suzuki was essentially playing on a roll-over contract with team options for the Marlins over the past year. At the time the team picked up his option last year, then-team president David Samson explained why they added a 2018 option worth $2 million to Suzuki's deal.

"The reason for the option in 2018 is he wants to play until he's 50," Samson told reporters. "He's told me. He's serious. I think he probably will play until he's 50, and that's fine by us."

Per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the decision to decline Suzuki's option could be the first domino to fall as the Marlins' new owners attempt to lower the payroll to around $90 million.

After hitting .291/.354/.376 in 143 games during the 2016 season, Suzuki seemed like he might be able to play until he was 50. The 10-time All-Star didn't have as much success in 2017, hitting .255/.318/.332 in 136 games as he was largely relegated to pinch-hitting duties with a career-low 196 at-bats.

At 44 years old, Suzuki is the second-oldest active player in Major League Baseball. Bartolo Colon, who was born in May 1973, is five months older than the 2001 American League MVP.

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