Dodgers sign Miguel Olivo to minor league deal

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J.P. Hoonstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports that the Dodgers have signed veteran catcher Miguel Olivo to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Olivo batted just .203 with a .642 OPS and 23 strikeouts in 80 plate appearances last season for the Marlins. He walked out on the team in June after they refused to grant his request for release and spent the rest of the summer at home.

A.J. Ellis is ticketed to start for the Dodgers at catcher and Tim Federowicz is expected to be the backup, so Olivo is a longshot to crack Los Angeles’ Opening Day roster or make any sort of meaningful impact for the club in 2014. The 35-year-old is a .241/.275/.417 career hitter at the major league level. His career-best season was 2009, when he tallied 23 home runs and 65 RBI in 114 games with the Royals.

The Dodgers also signed 25-year-old catcher Geoff Erickson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He has never appeared in a major league game.

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.