Thinnest rumor of the year: Jim Thome and the Tigers

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How thin? I’m going to base it on a single tweet from MSG Network’s Tina Cervasio, who said that she saw Jim Thome in a suburban Detroit hotel a few minutes ago.  Does that mean Thome is talking to the Tigers? Hey, why not!  TMZ is getting into sports gossip, you know. If that works out we’ll all have to start stalking people in order to compete!

Other options: He’s there to party with Miguel Cabrera, who also has a thing for suburban Detroit hotels.  Or, as ESPN’s Jorge Arangure said, Thome is the kind of guy who might actually vacation in Detroit.

I can see it now: “Gee, this is a swell place. So much history. Hey, who wants to go to Canada? It’s just across that bridge there! Neat!”

So there you are. Start spreading the news. Thome to the Tigers. It’s gold, baby. Gold I tells ya.

UPDATE: Sadly, the word now is that Thome is in Detroit for a funeral. What a downer to a perfectly ludicrous rumor.

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.