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Talks Between Marlins And Ichiro Picking Up Steam

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have been hard at work the past couple months, building a roster that should be a playoff contender in 2015 and beyond.

While the majority of the team's needs have been addressed, it's well known that the Marlins are still in the market for a fourth outfielder that can slide into any of the three spots while proving a solid bat off the bench.

One name that has been popping up a lot is free agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

The 41-year-old is a 10-time All-Star that would give Miami a veteran presence in a mostly-young clubhouse.

The Marlins have been kicking the tires on Ichiro this month but haven't made any kind of formal offer.

That could be changing in the near future though, as we learned on Sunday that talks between Miami and Ichiro have intensified and that the Marlins are open to signing him to a 2-year deal.

Over 14 seasons in the majors, Ichiro is a career .317 hitter and is just 156 hits short of reaching the impressive plateau of 3,000.  Assuming he could play out a two-year deal while somewhat maintaining the same level of production, he would likely reach the milestone in a Marlins uniform sometime during the 2016 season.

After spending his entire MLB career with the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro was traded to the New York Yankees midway through the 2012 season.

The left-handed hitter had a productive year with the Yankees in 2014, making 385 plate appearances in 143 games while boasting a .284 batting average and a .324 on-base percentage.  He also stole 15 bases and scored 42 runs while drawing 21 walks.

In other Marlins news, the team signed veteran utility player Don Kelly to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Kelly, 34, has a career .232/.296/.336 slash line in seven MLB seasons, six of which came with the Detroit Tigers. He is valuable in that he can play multiple positions, most recently having played a lot of third base, first base and all three outfield spots.

Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)

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