Last week Aramis Ramirez explained that he’ll be looking for a multi-year contract as a free agent if the Cubs do as expected and decline his $16 million option for next season and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins figure to be one of his strongest suitors.
Frisaro calls Ramirez “one of the more realistic big names that clearly is on the Marlins’ radar” and speculates that they envision an infield with Ramirez at third base, Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, Omar Infante at second base, and Gaby Sanchez at first base.
Of course, Frisaro also writes that “Ramirez would bring an established defensive presence” and he’s pretty terrible defensively, posting a below average Ultimate Zone Rating in each of the past four seasons.
Matt Dominguez has been viewed as the Marlins’ long-term answer at third base. He may not be quite MLB-ready yet, but certainly would be before a two- or three-year deal for the 33-year-old Ramirez expired.
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.