The official deadline was to be 11AM, but Buster Olney just tweeted the following:
Pujols contract talks are over. Deadline will pass without a deal. Have not been proposals swapped in last 100 hours or so.
And it wouldn’t have been that big a deal if Pujols hadn’t gone and set a deadline. Not that it necessarily matters to him or should — the guy should do what he wants to — but the frenzy that has been built up among the Cardinals fans and the media covering this deadline thing is a pretty artificial creation.
Pujols will show up in camp tomorrow. He’ll give a few no comments. Then he’ll go out and start abusing baseballs. Barring the absolutely ridiculous, he will be a St. Louis Cardinal all year. When the year ends the press of a legitimate deadline — his free agency — will likely make more happen than anything that could have been expected in these past few weeks.
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.