The Nationals made a run at free agent southpaw Cliff Lee before he signed with the Phillies. They also tried for right-hander Zack Greinke before the Royals dealt him to the Brewers.
The free agent market is mostly a scrap heap by now, but one top free agent pitcher remains and the Nationals are doing their best to bring him in.
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Washington remains “in the mix” for Carl Pavano, who is expected to decide on a team within the next week or two.
Pavano, 34, posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 32 starts this past season for the Twins. He struck out 117 batters and walked only 33, amassing a six-year high 221 innings.
The Cubs, Brewers and Rangers have also expressed varying levels of interest and Minnesota may look into re-signing him if his price drops low enough. At the moment, the right-hander is thought to be seeking a three-year contract worth between $10-$11 million annually.
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.