Pirates sign Edinson Volquez for $5 million

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No doubt feeling pretty bullet proof after fixing Francisco Liriano the Pirates and pitching coach Ray Searage have taken on any even bigger reclamation projection in Edinson Volquez.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Volquez has agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal, which is pretty nice money for someone coming off a 5.71 ERA.

As a 24-year-old Volquez had a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 196 innings, but injuries followed and in five years since then he’s failed to post a sub-4.00 ERA. He was a mess this year, issuing 4.1 walks per nine innings, uncorking 16 wild pitches, and allowing a league-high 108 earned runs in 170 innings.

Volquez still throws hard, averaging 92.5 miles per hour with his fastball, but at age 30 his raw stuff is no longer overpowering and his control has always been awful. If he turns into a mid-rotation starter or better for the Pirates … well, Searage deserves a huge raise.

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.