Heyman: the Mariners are "lowballing" Jarrod Washburn

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It’s one thing for Scott Boras to use Jon Heyman to drum up a market for one of his clients where one does not exist, but we now seem to have crossed over into a world where Heyman is actually handling the negotiations for Jarrod Washburn. From his latest column:

1. Jarrod Washburn. Washburn thrived for the Mariners last year,
going 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA for them before struggling with his knee with
the Tigers, and going 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA there. The Mariners know what
he can do but are lowballing him to this point. The Royals also are in
the bidding.

This is not reporting. This is even beyond opinion. This is straight negotiation, and combative and heavy-handed negotiation at that. But if Heyman is going to play Boras, I don’t see why I can’t play Jack Zduriencik:

“With all due respect, Scott, though we value Jarrod and think we can find a place for him on our club, we feel that his performance last year was far more a function of the defense behind him and good fortune than of his native skills.  We are also less convinced that his second half struggles were as much about his injuries as they were about regression to the mean and a reflection of his true abilities at this point in his career.

“But please, Scott, let’s keep this civil. We are not “lowballing” your client, and we resent the implication. We feel we are making him a good faith offer. If you insist on disparaging us in the media as opposed to making a counter offer, I’m afraid this negotiation will have to end. 

“And, no, the Royals are not on the scene, so please stop bluffing us with that.”

Wow! Role playing is fun!

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.