As the Pirates prepare to gear up for another run at the post-season, they may be looking to bring back a familiar face. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a Pirates scout went out of his way to watch Burnett while he made his start at Turner Field against the Braves on Friday.
Burnett struggled, allowing six runs over five innings. In his first season with the Phillies, Burnett has not had nearly the same success that he enjoyed in his two seasons with the Pirates. On the season, the right-hander owns a 4.08 ERA over 21 starts. He has allowed a league-leading 58 walks. Part of the struggles may be attributed to the inguinal hernia, which he has been dealing with since mid-April.
Burnett, 37, is earning $7.5 million this season. His contract includes, for 2015, a $15 million mutual option or a $7.5 million player option. The player option can increase to as much as $12.75 million depending on how many starts he makes. He is currently at 21. Three more starts (24) will bump it up to $8.5 million; six more bump it up to $10 million; nine more bump it up to $11.75 million; 11 more bump it up to $12.75 million.
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.