Bobby Valentine no longer interested in managing Marlins

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This comes as a bit of surprise.  But not really.

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com is reporting that Bobby Valentine has pulled himself out of the running for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.

Valentine gave no reason for his decision, only saying that he has “decided to go in another direction,” but it’s safe to assume that he felt disrespected by the organization when he was not named Fredi Gonzalez’s replacement in June.  The Marlins engaged in serious talks with Bobby V at that time and a deal seemed close, but Edwin Rodriguez was named interim skipper instead.

Valentine will be courted by the Mariners and Blue Jays this winter and maybe the Mets, once they figure out a new general manager.  He has options, in other words, and would rather head to a club that really wants him than one that operates in an indecisive manner.

Former Phillies skipper Jim Fregosi, former D’Backs bench coach Po Porter and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena are believed to be candidates for the job in south Florida.  Padres bench coach Ted Simmons and Dodgers minor league manager Tim Wallach have also been linked to the Fish.

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.