Apparently the Yankees and Russell Martin have fairly different ideas of what the catcher’s long-term worth is.
Following a round of negotiations this week, GM Brian Cashman said Friday that the two sides have “mutually agreed to wait” on working out an extension beyond 2012.
The 29-year-old Martin will make $7.5 million this season after avoiding arbitration with the Yankees. He signed with the Bombers as a free agent a year ago after being non-tendered by the Dodgers. He didn’t have the service time necessary to become a free agent through normal means after last season, but he will after this year.
CBS Sports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were willing to give Martin a three-year, $20 million deal this winter. That, however, would have amounted to a modest paycut.
Martin stands to join a bumper crop of free agent catchers this winter, with Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli all eligible as well. That might make Martin more amenable to a midseason deal, considering that he probably rates behind the other three players in the group in the eyes of most. Still, there’s no way he’s going to settle for less annually the $7.5 million he’s guaranteed for 2012.
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.