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Detroit Tigers Links: Dixon Machado is in the Best Shape of His Life

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May he make the team and do awesome stuff this year.

Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dixon Machado’s final stand

With the current team composition, there is likely one roster spot available between Dixon Machado, Steven Moya, or an extra bullpen arm. That wouldn’t normally be an issue, but both Machado and Moya are out of minor league options. This means they would have to clear waivers before being sent to the minors if they don’t make the team. There’s no way Moya will clear, and it’s not likely that Machado would either, especially with the current situation in San Diego (they suck). Machado knows the importance of 2017.

After playing in the Venezuelan Winter League last off-season, Machado has spent this winter hitting the weights. He considers himself to be in the best playing shape of his career.

“That’s why I did it,” he said, “because I feel like this year is so important that I had to get ready. I’ve been running a lot, working a lot, so I’m looking forward to it.”

First of all, this has to be a record for number of players dropping the “best shape of his life” line on a single team. I know you shouldn’t live in the past, but one wonders why Andrew Romine is still around with Machado’s fate in the balance. Regardless, Machado needs to show that he has the bat to survive at the major league level, or spring training might be the last time you see him in the Olde English D.

Float like a butterfly, stunt like Ali

The Louisville Bats, a Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliate, will be rocking those babies in a game this year. I’m not sure about the full picture on the front. I probably would have done something a little more understated, but the rest of those jerseys are fire.

Where has Billy Beane gone?

That is what our compatriots at Athletics Nation want to know. Beane, known as one of the most inventive and active general managers in the league (see: Moneyball), has been very quiet this offseason. With a pretty poor team, most Oakland fans are just hoping for something to happen.

Baseball in Cuba

Politics have shielded Cuba from the rest of the world for 50 years. With the recent reset of relations between Cuba and the U.S., journalists have been getting new access to the country. That is especially true with baseball, a way of life in the country. Bernie Pleskoff has a two-part series on baseball in Cuba from his recent trip there. First, on the atmosphere of a game, and second, the game itself.

Even more powerful are some incredible photographs and transparent stories told by Steven Counts and Joseph Swide. Their raw narratives give a stark look at how baseball operates in the country.

For your free time

Chase Utley has multiple offers. Remember that the number two qualifies as multiple. The Cincinnati Reds should make a run at Mike Trout. And I should run for President (OK, bad example). The Red Sox are going to arbitration. Dave, what did you do?! David Ross will grace ESPN with his presence. I love David Ross so much.

Baseball is awesome