Details of Johnny Cueto’s new contract

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Via the Associated Press, here are the details of the contract extension Johnny Cueto signed with the Reds yesterday:

2011 – $3.4 million
2012 – $5.4 million
2013 – $7.4 million
2014 – $10 million
2015 – $10 million team option or $800,000 buyout

Add it all up and Cueto, who submitted a figure of $3.9 million for arbitration this year, receives $27 million in guaranteed money while the Reds buy out his three seasons of arbitration eligibility plus his first season of free agency and secure an option for his second year of free agency.

Taking that kind of upfront cash is rarely a mistake for a 24-year-old pitcher, but if Cueto stays healthy the Reds will likely be very happy with the deal. Barring arm problems his first two years of free agency could be worth significantly more than $20 million and the Reds were able to gain the two additional seasons of control without going crazy on any of the salaries for arbitration seasons.

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.