Halladay rumors fly but a trade seems unlikely

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The Rangers are excited about the possibility of Roy Halladay coming to Texas:

Blue Jays right-handed ace Roy Halladay was the No. 1 topic of
discussion in the Rangers clubhouse before Wednesday’s game with the
Angels . . . “I’d love to have him here,” outfielder Marlon Byrd said.
“I don’t know what price it would take to get him, but I’d love to have
him.” “You always want people who you feel could help the ballclub,”
outfielder Josh Hamilton added. “It’s not my decision to make, so I
don’t know. But I want whatever would help this ballclub win games and
get to the postseason. I’ll leave that decision up to the front
office.” “We’re going to look to improve the club every way we can,”
[GM Jon] Daniels said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

There’s also excitement in Philadelphia, St. Louis and a bunch of other places.

As I said the other day,
I don’t see Texas, given their owners’ financial difficulties, being
able to pay the $22M+ Halladay is owed this year and next, and that’s
even if Halladay were willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the
ballpark where pitching goes to die. As for Philly and St. Louis, I
still don’t think they have the chips, and I still question whether
Halladay will even be traded. Everyone is keying so much on J.P.
Ricciardi’s comments about shopping him a couple of days ago, but not
too many people noticed when he said this yesterday:

Riccardi isn’t optimistic a trade will happen.

“My gut feeling is no, we won’t, because there aren’t too many teams
out there who are willing to give us the significant package of
prospects we would need to make this go,” Riccardi told the Globe.
“Teams protect their prospects.”

Posturing? Maybe. But I still kind of doubt it, and while everyone goes
crazy trying to figure out where Halladay is going, I’m going to stand
by my original statement: He ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

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.