Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement Thursday after his final game with the Seattle Mariners, played in the country where he started his 27-year career.
“I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball,” Ichiro said, “both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball. I am honored to end my big-league career where it started, with Seattle, and think it is fitting that my last games as a professional were played in my home country of Japan.”
Ichiro, 45, joined the Mariners in 2001 at age 27 and won both American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He had 1,278 career hits in Japanese baseball and 3,089 in the major leagues.
Ichiro nearly legged out an infield hit in the eighth inning after a strikeout earlier in the game. He was removed from the game later in the inning to a thunderous applause from fans and hugs from his teammates. Ichiro was hitless, but Seattle claimed a 5-4, 12-inning victory over the Oakland A’s in the Tokyo Dome.
—The Los Angeles Angels and two-time MVP Mike Trout announced the 12-year contract that likely will keep the outfielder an Angel for the rest of his career.
“This is where I wanted to be all along,” Trout said in a statement released by the. “I have enjoyed my time as an Angel and look forward to representing the organization, my teammates and our fans for years to come.”
The new contract adds 10 years to the final two years of his existing six-year deal signed in 2014. The total 12-year deal is worth anywhere from $426.5 million to more than $430 million.
—Less than two weeks after drawing criticism for giving reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell a $15,500 raise, the Tampa Bay Rays announced they are giving their ace quite a bit more, after all.
The club agreed to terms with the left-hander on a five-year, $50 million contract that runs through the 2023 season, which would have been Snell’s first year of free agency. The deal could pay an additional $2 million in incentives, the club said.
—The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the St. Louis Cardinals and newly acquired first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are closing in on an extension that will be “at least five years and at least $110 million.” Later, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that both sides agreed to a deal and the terms are five years and “about $130 million.”
Goldschmidt slugged 30 or more homers in four of the past six seasons with Arizona, but the Diamondbacks dealt the 31-year-old ahead of the last season of his contract, which is slated to pay him $14.5 million. He batted .290 with 33 homers and 83 RBIs in 2018. He has three 100-RBI campaigns and has batted .300 or better three times since 2013.
—Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters there is “reason for concern” about the pitching elbow of right-handed reliever Corey Knebel.
Knebel, 27, stopped throwing in the past few days due to what had been described as a tired arm and was scheduled to have it examined. Knebel and reliever Jeremy Jeffress (shoulder) are expected to open the year on the injured list, likely leaving closer duties to Josh Hader.
The Brewers reportedly have been in talks with free agent closer Craig Kimbrel.
—Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson could miss time with a hand injury sustained in the finale of a two-game series in Japan against the Mariners.
Olson left the game after fouling a ball off of his right hand.
The A’s also announced top prospect Jesus Luzardo would be shut down for four to six weeks with a shoulder strain.
—New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird was scratched from the team’s spring training game because of swelling and stiffness in his right elbow, manager Aaron Boone said.
Bird, who was hit by a pitch Wednesday by the Houston Astros’ Wade Miley, was sent back to Tampa, Fla., for precautionary X-rays while the team played the St. Louis Cardinals in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Bird, 26, has been competing with Luke Voit for the starting job at first base this spring. He is hitting .333 with 11 walks and three home runs in 51 plate appearances in the Grapefruit League.
—Lee Mazzilli, the Yankees’ guest instructor who was struck on the head by a batted ball during batting practice Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., will stay hospitalized for at least another night. A Yankees spokesman said Thursday that doctors were “just being cautious” with Mazzilli.
—Field Level Media