Rockies ink Street, Betancourt to multi-year deals

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With the deadline to submit figures for arbitration looming, the Rockies have agreed to multi-year deals with arbitration-eligible relievers Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt.
According to FOXSports.com’s Tracy Ringolsby, Betancourt will get $7.5 million over two years while Street’s deal is worth $22.5 million over three years with an option for 2013.
Colorado had previously declined a $5.4 million option on Betancourt for 2010, so $3.75 million per season represents a discount of sorts even if that’s still paying a premium for middle relief. Betancourt had a 2.73 ERA and 61/20 K/BB ratio in 56 innings split between Cleveland and Colorado last season, but struggled in 2008 and turns 35 years old soon.
Street likely would have been in line for around $7 million via arbitration and could have hit the open market following the season, so the Rockies essentially paid about $15 million for his first two seasons of free agency. That’s definitely pricey for a reliever, but Street is a 26-year-old with a 2.91 career ERA who saved 35 games with a 3.06 ERA, .194 opponents’ batting average, and 70/13 K/BB ratio during his first season in Colorado. He’s a legitimately elite reliever who’ll be just 29 when the contract ends.
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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.