Cristian Guzman to miss at least first half of season due to “family issues”

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If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering why Cristian Guzman hasn’t signed a minor league deal with the Royals or something. Here’s the deal.

According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Guzman’s agent Stanley King said the infielder is planning to sit out the first half of the 2011 season due to family issues. King didn’t dismiss the possibility that the two-time All-Star could miss the entire season.

“Hopefully, Cristian will have the family issues sorted out in the next couple of months,” King said via phone.”

King added that Guzman received offers from two unspecified National League teams during the early part of spring training.

Guzman, who turns 33 later this month, was shipped from the Nationals to the Rangers at the trade deadline last season, but batted just .152 over 42 at-bats with Texas and also batted a quad injury. He was not included on the club’s postseason roster.

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.