White Sox could reach deal with Paul Konerko on Monday

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The White Sox were not pleased with their second-place finish in the American League Central this year.  So they’ve decided to do something about it this offseason.

Not only did Kenny Williams and Co. lock up free agent slugger Adam Dunn last week, they are also closing in on a deal to retain Paul Konerko.

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is scheduled to meet with the veteran first baseman’s agent on Monday and a deal could be struck as soon as the chat is over.

Konerko, 34, hit .312/.393/.584 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI over 149 games for Chicago in 2010.  He has played 12 of his 13 MLB seasons with the White Sox and is about to agree to a multi-year deal that will keep him in white and black for the next three or four seasons at around $13 million per year.

Dunn is expected to DH with Konerko sticking to first base.

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.