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linchao Mar 21 '19
Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesVeteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will be part of the Seattle Mariners' active roster when the team plays the Oakland Athletics in Japan Marwin Gonzalez Jersey , MLB.com's Greg Johns reported Tuesday.Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said the team will "presumably" only include Ichiro on the squad for the two-game Japan Series. Seattle and Oakland are allowed 28 players on the active roster for the series, compared to the 25-man limit for normal regular-season games.Ichiro played 15 games for the Mariners in 2018, his last appearance coming in the team's 3-2 defeat to the A's on May 2. A day later, Seattle agreed to a special arrangement with the 44-year-old in which he unofficially remained a member of the team without counting as an active player.His agent told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal in May he wasn't officially retiring and that playing in the Japan Series remained an option. Dipoto told reporters Tuesday the team is planning on having him at spring training as well, per Johns:"Ichi will be in spring training with us, and we're going to give him an opportunity as both a coaching presence and a player presence. We're still a long way off from Opening Day next year, but you will see Ichiro taking at-bats in Peoria, and we'll assess where we are at that time. But don't be surprised if you see him running around out there when we get to Tokyo next year early in the season."Having Ichiro play in Japan would be a nice moment. Beyond that, it's hard to see how he could maintain an on-field role with the Mariners.In his 18th season, he batted .205 before Seattle shut him down for the year. As a member of the Miami Marlins in 2017, he had a .255/.318/.332 slash line and was worth minus-0.1 WAR http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authentic-mike-trout-jersey , per FanGraphs.The Japan Series could at least give fans one more opportunity to see Ichiro in a Mariners jersey before he calls it a career. What had been the worst-kept secret in Major League Baseball has become good, old-fashioned real news.Manny Machado is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers.After months of speculation and rumors about where the Baltimore Orioles would send Machado when they were finally ready to trade the slugging shortstop, the Dodgers emerged as the team to beat shortly before the All-Star break. A few twists and turns later, the two sides finalized a trade Wednesday.Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, these are the terms:Jeff Passan JeffPassanThe return to the Orioles for Manny Machado: OF Yusniel Diaz, 3B Rylan Bannon, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP Zach Pop and 2B Breyvic Valera. Diaz is the only top-100 type. Kremer could be a dude. Bannon undersized 3B crushing in Cal League. Pop is a reliever, Valera 26-year-old in AAA.Jeff Passan JeffPassanSources: No cash going from Orioles to Dodgers in the Manny Machado deal. More surprising, no international bonus-pool money, either. Orioles use theirs as sweeteners in deals since their Latin American presence is near nonexistent.Although Yusniel Diaz only checks in as MLB.com's No. 84 prospect Kole Calhoun Jersey , he's been pushing his value northward with a .905 OPS for Double-A Tulsa.The fact that he's one of only five prospects leaving Los Angeles in a trade that's bringingzero dollars back from Baltimore speaks to how badly the Dodgers wanted Machado, even if he's only two-and-a-half months away from free agency.But while it's not a steal, this deal isn't without silver linings for the Dodgers.For one thing, the club's bestyoung assets鈥攊.e., right-hander Walker Buehler, outfielder Alex Verdugo and catcher Keibert Ruiz鈥攔emain in the organization. This trade thus fits the Dodgers' usual pattern of being willing to deal young players only as long as they're not the cream of their crop.For another thing, there's the kinda-sorta important detail that the Dodgers just added one of MLB's best players to their quest to snap a World Series championship drought that dates back to 1988.Patrick Semansky/Associated PressAlthough Machado, who has four All-Star nods and two Gold Gloves, should need no introduction at this point, the degree to which he's raised his game in 2018 can't be overlooked.Before this season, the 26-year-old's offensive peak involved an .876 OPS and 37 home runs in 2016. With a .963 OPS and 24 homers through his first 96 games of 2018 Garrett Richards Jersey , he's on track to blow that peak away.Even when the hitter friendly environment of Oriole Park at Camden Yards is factored into the equation via OPS+, Machado still checks in as the fifth-best hitter among batting title qualifiers at the halfway mark:1.Mookie Betts: 2002.Mike Trout: 1933.J.D. Martinez: 1724.Jose Ramirez: 1695.Manny Machado: 164For other teams in the National League, word of a hitter like this joining the Dodgers is the polar opposite of good news.After a slow start, the Dodgers have climbed to the top of the NL West largely because of their offense. It's averaged a .793 OPS and 5.1 runs per game in the team's 37-17 stretch since May 17. In general, there seems to be no going backward for the Dodgers offense:Getting to this point has been a group effort to which Max Muncy, Matt Kemp, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez and (when healthy) Yasiel Puig have all contributed.At worst Andrew Heaney Jersey , Machado's arrival means the Dodgers now have a great deal of protection against any regression their incumbent hitters might experience down the stretch. At best, his arrival will boost the Dodgers offense to a point where it's on par with any in MLB.One catch is that it might mean living with a downgraded defense."I'm a shortstop. I play shortstop," Machado insisted when he was asked if he would move back to third base if a new team asked him to, per Marc Carig of The Athletic.Assuming the Dodgers honor Machado's desire to remain at shortstop, they stand to bear the brunt of a defensive performance that has produced minus-19 defensive runs saved and a minus-7.7 ultimate zone rating. Machado simply hasn't been the lockdown defender at short that he was at the hot corner.However, it takes a stretch of the imagination to perceive this as the Dodgers' doom. Whereas Machado was playing on MLB'sleast efficient defense in Baltimore, his new defense is right in the middle of the pack (14th) in efficiency. The Dodgers should have an easier time downplaying any defensive struggles Machado might experience.Besides, the appeal for the Dodgers is all about the offense. Not because they need it to finish off their comeback and clinch a sixth straight NL West title, but more so because extra offense figures to be instrumental in getting them through the postseason.No thanks to Clayton Kershaw's ongoing decline, manager Dave Roberts has had to do even more mixing and matching with his pitchers than he did in 2017. It's mostly worked, but the Dodgers may not have the arms to walk the same path to the World Series that they did last year. That one involved an NL-best 3.38 ERA in the regular season (up to 3.49 this year) and a 2.28 ERA through the first two rounds of the playoffs.And even that path wasn't good enough to take them the distance. Although the Dodgers put up a good fight in the World Series Huston Street Jersey , their arms were ultimately no match for the Houston Astros' bats.Assuming they can get there, an easier challenge isn't likely to be awaiting the Dodgers in the World Series this time around. The Astros still have a high-powered offense, and the ones belonging to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are even better. As such, any NL team that plans on winning the World Series had better be able to win a slugfest.If the Dodgers weren't already equal to the task, they sure are now. All they need now is for Machado and the rest of their hitters to go to work. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball Prospectus.
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