Jerome Williams (or more accurately, mostly his agent) spent the past week talking about how he hoped to be non-tendered by the Angels because he believed other teams would be willing to give him a full-time rotation spot. And he got his wish last night, as they cut him loose rather than keeping the 32-year-old right-hander around for approximately $4 million via arbitration.
Here’s what agent Larry O’Brien told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times after the move:
Honestly, this could be a blessing in disguise. I believe there are a number of teams that will give him the chance to make 32 starts. Jerome is a horse. He can throw 250 innings. I think he’s going to turn some heads. We’ll find a team that’s going to give Jerome the ball every five days.
Worth noting: Williams has never, in his entire big-league career, started more than 25 games or thrown more than 170 innings in a season.
O’Brien was extremely outspoken in the days leading up to the Angels’ decision, basically saying Williams deserved better than they were going to give him. Of course, he also told various reporters that he’d be shocked if they non-tendered Williams and that’s exactly what they ended up doing. So … mission accomplished. Now we’ll see if he was right about Williams’ potential free agent market.
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.