More word this morning that, contrary to some speculation last night, the Yankees will not offer Cliff Lee a seven-year deal, on the basis that they will not exceed the contract length of the CC Sabathia deal, and that was a six-year thing. So if there is a team out there willing to go nuts, it’s not New York.
Here’s a wild card: Washington. Jon Heyman hears this morning that they have become “ultra-aggressive” in pursuit of a starting pitcher. And hey, they have a recent track record of being totally unhinged, so why not them? Heyman doesn’t mention Lee’s name, but it would certainly sound strange for the words “ultra-aggressive” and “Carl Pavano” to go together, wouldn’t it?
Unlike Jayson Werth, however, I seriously doubt that Lee would consider going to Washington, but hey, crazier things have happened. And even if that’s too crazy, an offer, even if it has no hope of being accepted, could drive others to sweeten offers of their own.
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.