Russell Martin is still recovering from August hip surgery, but today his agent told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the catcher will “absolutely” be healthy in time for spring training.
Matt Colleran told Hernandez that Martin should be cleared to resume running at full speed within the “next couple of weeks” and has been working with a personal trainer in Montreal.
Martin’s health is key because the Dodgers are no sure thing to tender him a contract following back-to-back disappointing seasons. Martin earned $5 million this season and would likely get a raise to at least $6 million via the arbitration process, which is a lot for a guy who hit just .249 with a .680 OPS during the past two seasons if his hip remains any kind of question mark.
Hernandez speculates that Martin could traded or non-tendered, but for now at least Colleran says the 28-year-old former All-Star “loves L.A.” and “that’s where he expects to be … unless he’s told differently.”
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.
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.