What are the Red Sox planning at shortstop?

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By declining Alex Gonzalez’s option for next season the Red Sox moved Jed Lowrie back atop their shortstop depth chart for now, but Peter Gammons of ESPN.com reports that “it is clear they want Lowrie to play at Pawtucket, make up for what amounts to a lost season, and prove that his wrist will hold up.”
Gammons speculates that the Red Sox could look to re-sign Gonzalez for less than the $6 million option, go after another low-cost, short-term veteran like Omar Vizquel, or perhaps make a serious run at free agent Marco Scutaro, although his Type A status would cost them a first-round draft pick.
Prior to his wrist injury Lowrie had emerged as the Red Sox’s starting shortstop after hitting .258/.339/.400 with good defense as a 24-year-old rookie in 2008, but he appeared in just 32 games this season while batting .147. Counting on him to be the full-time starter again in 2010 is perhaps more of a risk than the Red Sox are willing to take, but clearly if he’s healthy Lowrie won’t be at Triple-A or on the bench for long.
All of which makes me think that they’ll go short term (Gonzalez, Vizquel, etc.) rather than make a multi-year commitment to someone like Scutaro. Of course, if reports about the Red Sox’s interest in J.J. Hardy are accurate they were certainly willing to make a multi-year commitment to him at shortstop. Boston reportedly offered Michael Bowden to Milwaukee in exchange for Hardy, but balked when the counteroffer was Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard. Hardy ended up being dealt to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.

Ichiro wants to play until he’s 50

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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.

Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.

“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”

When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”

Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.