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McHugh, Odorizzi, Stroman win their arbitration cases

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Six arbitration decisions were announced on Tuesday. The results were being withheld until all cases were completed so that one case didn’t impact the other cases. Collin McHugh, Jake Odorizzi, and Marcus Stroman won their cases. Taijuan Walker, Chase Anderson, and Michael Wacha lost their cases. All six players were eligible for arbitration for the first time.

For those unfamiliar with the process, players eligible for arbitration file a salary figure they think they deserve and the team counters. If an agreement can’t be reached, they go to an arbitration hearing where an independent arbitrator will pick either the player’s submitted figure or the team’s figure. There is no in between in this instance.

Astros starter McHugh, 29, filed for $3.85 million and the team countered at $3.35 million. The right-hander made 33 starts for the Astros in 2016, putting up a 4.34 ERA and a 177/54 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings. He was arguably the Astros’ most dependable starter.

Rays starter Odorizzi, 26, filed for $4.1 million and the Rays countered at $3.825 million. Over 33 starts, he posted a 3.69 ERA with a 166/54 K/BB ratio across 187 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays starter Stroman, 25, filed for $3.4 million and the Jays countered at $3.1 million. The right-hander crossed the 200-inning plateau, finishing with a 4.37 ERA and a 166/54 K/BB ratio in 32 starts.

Diamondbacks starter Walker, 24, filed for $2.6 million and the Diamondbacks countered at $2.25 million. In his second full season, the right-hander made 25 starts for the Mariners, authoring a 4.22 ERA and a 119/37 K/BB ratio over 134 1/3 innings.

Brewers starter Anderson, 29, filed for $2.85 million and the Brewers countered at $2.45 million. In 151 2/3 innings, the right-hander posted a 4.39 ERA and a 120/53 K/BB ratio.

Cardinals starter Wacha, 25, filed for $3.2 million and the Cardinals countered at $2.775 million. He finished with an ugly 5.09 ERA and a 114/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. Wacha battled a shoulder injury but is expected to be included in the club’s rotation “if he’s physically able,” according to GM John Mozeliak.

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.