Link-O-Rama: Big Papi ties Big Hurt (sort of)

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* Last night David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas for the most homers ever at designated hitter with 269. The big difference between Big Papi and Big Hurt is that Thomas had 252 non-DH homers while Ortiz has just 43.
* San Diego is sending out DVDs to NL managers in an effort to boost Kevin Kouzmanoff’s chances of winning an undeserved Gold Glove, which is something I preemptively railed against last month. There’s a lot more to defense than errors.
* Raul Ibanez homering twice yesterday made the Phillies just the 12th team in baseball history with at least four 30-homer hitters. Interestingly, just one of those dozen teams came before 1995 and four of them called Coors Field home.
* Remember last week, when I wondered why Matt Murton hasn’t been able to stick in the majors? I’m still wondering, but after another strong season in the minors he’s at least back in the big leagues as a bench player in Colorado.
* In a move that was first reported several months ago, the Red Sox have finalized an $8.2 million contract with 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias. As part of the deal he’s been added to the 40-man roster and will play in the Arizona Fall League next month. Baseball Prospectus called him “Ryan Theriot with better hands” while Baseball America described Iglesias as an “Orlando Cabrera clone.”

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.