According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, free agent right-hander Neftali Feliz is reportedly close to signing a deal with the Brewers. The 28-year-old has also been linked to the Dodgers and Nationals over the last month, though nothing substantial has surfaced on those fronts.
Milwaukee GM David Stearns has been shopping relief options as recently as last week, per a report from Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While his roster doesn’t appear to lack any significant bullpen pieces, the loss of closer Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox last month has left the club wanting for more depth. Feliz, meanwhile, could potentially step into the closing role in Milwaukee, provided that his resurgence in 2016 wasn’t a one-time deal.
The veteran righty is coming off of an impressive tour with the Pirates, during which he sustained a 3.52 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 53 2/3 innings. His time on the mound was highlighted by a promising spike in velocity, accompanied by the second-highest strikeout rate of his career to date, though he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness.
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.