Rakuten Golden Eagles offer Masahiro Tanaka an $8 million salary to remain in Japan

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NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman translated the report from Sports Hochi in Japan …

It would be the highest single-season salary ever given out to a Nippon Professional Baseball player, but it seems unlikely to sway the 25-year-old right-hander, who has a publicly-stated desire to make the jump to Major League Baseball this offseason. He can probably double that salary in the United States given the setup of the new posting system, which will essentially be a bidding war between all of the teams willing to meet the $20 million posting max. Some of the richest clubs in Major League Baseball — like the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs and Angels — are expected to try for Tanaka when the Rakuten Golden Eagles finally post him.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183/32 K/BB in 212 innings this past summer in Japan.

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.