Someone paid $103,579 for A-Rod's 500th homer

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Yesterday at an auction in California an anonymous bidder paid $103,579 for the ball Alex Rodriguez hit for his 500th career homer. Rodriguez hit the homer off Kyle Davies of the Royals at the old Yankee Stadium in August of 2007, and has since hit another 83 bombs.
Generally speaking the 500-homer club has lost quite a bit of its luster in recent years, so I’m not sure how much the 500th-homer ball of a guy who’ll probably end up with 750 or 800 homers will ultimately be worth. I’m willing to guess that the answer will be “less than $103,579.”
Comic book mogul Todd McFarlane once spent $3 million on Mark McGwire’s record-setting 70th-homer ball and then dropped another $450,000 to get the ball Barry Bonds hit for No. 73 a few years later, but those have probably held their value about as well as my collection of Ruben Mateo rookie cards.

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.