The Dodgers have made no secret about its interest in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. The new wrinkle, though, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, is that the Cardinals are “very much in it” as well. Wolfson adds that the Nationals and Giants remain in dialogue with the Twins, too.
The Cardinals, of course, have a crowded infield as is with incumbent second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong played some outfield last season but it would make more sense if Wong were included in a deal that brought Dozier to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Dodgers traded veteran 2B/OF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies and regular second baseman Chase Utley is still in free agency. If the season were to start today, Enrique Hernandez and Micah Johnson would handle the position.
Dozier, 29, had an outstanding 2016 campaign, finishing with a .268/.340/.546 triple-slash line along with 42 home runs, 99 RBI, and 104 runs scored in 691 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement, only Jose Altuve (6.7) and Robinson Cano (6.0) were more valuable than Dozier (5.9) at the second base position.
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.