Olney: Mets might release Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez

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Apparently Mets GM Sandy Alderson was serious when he put second baseman Luis Castillo and left-hander Oliver Perez on notice in mid-December, saying “if they don’t earn their way on the team, they won’t be on the team.”

Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote today in his Sunday notes column that the Mets have tried to trade Castillo all winter long and are now internally discussing the possibility of releasing him because no suitors have come forward.  Perez might also get the boot if he shows no signs of progress during spring training.

Castillo, 35, batted just .235 with a .337 on-base percentage and a putrid .267 slugging percentage in 299 plate appearances last season.  He did not homer and he collected just 17 RBI.

The Mets owe him $6 million this season in the final chapter of a four-year, $25 million agreement that was signed in mid-November of 2007.  They would obviously rather move at least part of that salary to another team via trade, but no major league club is going to be interested in adding an aging and unproductive middle infielder, however cheap.  Cutting ties, eating his salary and then moving on may be the best course of action.

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.