Edwin Encarnacion‘s agent, Paul Kinzer, told MLB Network Radio today that Encarnacion turned down a “(Yoenis) Cespedes-type” offer from the Athletics. As you know, Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million deal with the Indians. Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million deal with the Mets.
Color me a bit skeptical that the A’s offer was literally that much bigger than the Indians’ deal, but the idea that Encarnacion turned down a bigger deal from Oakland than he accepted from the Indians is not hard to believe. The Indians are the defending AL champs, play in a more hitter-friendly park and have their core of excellent starting pitchers signed through 2019. If Encarnacion is like most players, especially most players in their 30s, a ring is his primary goal. Anything can happen in baseball, but there is no way anyone can claim that it’s more likely that the A’s will win a World Series in the next three years than the Indians will.
As far as other larger contracts, it’s been widely reported that Encarnacion was offered $80 million over four years from the Blue Jays. While not going to a new city and a team with competitive challenges on a higher offer makes some sense, whether Encarnacion made a mistake in bypassing that deal, with his most recent team, is a more interesting question. On the surface it’s easy to say “oh man, Edwin, you messed up,” but there are reports that Encarnacion and his agent did not like how the Jays handled the negotiation. Was it a misread of the market or bad blood? There’s a lot that goes into this stuff.
Either way, it’s safe to say that, even if Encarnacion could’ve made more money in Toronto or Oakland, he’s in a pretty good situation in Cleveland all things considered.
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.