Jermaine Dye, ladies and gentlemen, is about to say goodbye to professional baseball.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the free agent outfielder, now 37 years old, has only drawn minor league contract offers from interested big league clubs this offseason and only wants to continue his playing career if guaranteed a roster spot. Fair enough.
Dye wore the jersey of four different teams during his playing career — the Braves, Royals, A’s and White Sox — and will leave behind 325 career home runs and a .274/.338/.488 career batting line.
“I would still like to play, but I think my choices have passed and teams have gone with other people,” Dye said Wednesday. “I will continue to stay in shape and hopefully someone will call. If nothing gets done by the end of the spring, I may call it a career.”
The native of northern California probably could have made some noise as a part-time designated hitter in the American League this season, but his bad range defensively made him unattractive to teams who prefer flexibility. He posted a respectable .250/.340/.453 batting line and 27 home runs in 2009, his last year as a big leaguer. So, hey, the guy can tell the world that he went out on top.
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.