Rangers reliever Koji Uehara wants to be back with Orioles

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Koji Uehara struggled following a midseason trade to the Rangers and was left off the World Series roster, and now Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the reliever wants to return to the Orioles next year:

I continue to believe that Koji Uehara will find a way back to the Orioles. … It’s hard to not feel for the guy, particularly because I remember him blinking back tears when he was traded while the team was in New York. … Uehara still owns a home in the area and has talked with people close to him about wanting to return.

Uehara was brilliant in Baltimore and the Orioles would no doubt be open to him returning, but the problem is that he’s under contract for $4 million in 2012 and the Rangers traded for him in part because they wanted the bullpen help for next season. And even while serving up homers in bunches for the Rangers he posted an excellent 24/3 K/BB ratio in 19 innings, so he could have a big role in Texas if given an extended opportunity.

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.