Happy birthday to Ichiro Suzuki, as the future Hall-of-Famer turns 44 years old today. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald takes a look at Ichiro’s offseason training regimen, though “offseason” may not be the correct term since the outfielder has continued to work out at Marlins Park almost every day since the season ended. Near-daily training has been a staple of almost every offseason for Suzuki — he took a month off in 2005 but tells Spencer via an interpreter that “my body just didn’t feel like my own body. My body was, like, sick.” Ichiro has long been known for his incredible fitness regime, and he doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon, as he has said that he hopes to keep playing into his 50s.
Here’s the latest from around baseball…
- With the Yankees making a deep postseason run this year, Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a few suggestions on what the club must now do to cement itself as a World Series contender. The list includes signing Shohei Otani, cutting down on strikeouts, re-signing CC Sabathia, reinforcing the bullpen by signing Mike Minor, and trading a high-paid veteran to ensure that the team gets under the $197MM luxury tax threshold. Sherman also floats the idea of shifting Gary Sanchez into a part-time DH role with Otani, which then necessitates signing a backup catcher capable of handling a workload of around 60 games.
- The Diamondbacks’ roster is broken down by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, who looks at both 2018 salary (hat tip to Piecoro for citing MLBTR’s arbitration projections) and each player’s role on next year’s club. With payroll size still an issue for the D’Backs, players such as Patrick Corbin or even A.J. Pollock could come up in trade talks since both will be free agents in the 2018-19 offseason. Brandon Drury or Nick Ahmed are cheaper but could also potentially be shopped due to a logjam of other infield options. Piecoro predicts Arizona will exercise its $2MM club option on Daniel Descalso since the veteran “was a big part of the clubhouse culture.”
- The Tigers’ choice of Ron Gardenhire as the team’s next manager “was a solid hire. It was a safe one, too,” The Athletic’s Katie Strang writes (subscription required and recommended). Both Gardenhire and Tigers GM Al Avila are under contract through 2020, so there is no small sense that Avila’s own job security will be scrutinized as the Tigers undergo a lengthy rebuild. Strang also shares some details on the Tigers’ managerial search, which included a wide variety of candidates but seemed to wrap up quickly (before even a second round of interviews) once Gardenhire emerged as the top contender.