The Atlanta Braves have signed outfielder Ender Inciarte to five-year, $30.525 million contract extension. There is a club option or a sixth year. The deal gives Inciarte a $3.5 million signing bonus, and then salaries of $2 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, $5 million in 2019, $7 million in 2020, $8 million in 2021, and then a $9 million club option for 2022 with a $1.025 million buyout of it’s not exercised.
Inciarte made $523,000 in 2016, his third in the majors. This deal buys out all of his arbitration years and two of his potential free agency years. He just turned 26.
That’s a pretty fantastic deal for the Braves, who enjoyed Inciarte’s fantastic center field defense while seeing him post a .291/.351/.381 line at the plate in 2016. He is one of the top baserunners in the game as well.
Inciarte came over to the Braves along with top prospect Dansby Swanson in the trade which sent Shelby Miller to the Diamondbacks before last season. It was already a heist for the Braves given Swanson’s promise, but Inciarte, whose 2016 season was worth 3.6 WAR, would’ve made it a great deal for Atlanta if only he came over.
And not he’s locked up to a team-friendly deal for a long, long time.
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.