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Dellin Betances loses arbitration case against Yankees

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FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees have won their arbitration hearing against right-hander Dellin Betances. The 28-year-old reliever will earn $3 million in 2017 after filing at $5 million earlier this year.

It’s a hefty raise for the three-time All-Star, who completed his fifth run with the Yankees in 2016 and earned just $507,000 on the year. He plowed through the first half of the year with a 2.50 ERA, but struggled after assuming the closer’s role in August and finished the year with a 3.08 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 15.5 SO/9 and 12 saves in 73 innings.

Still, the Yankees felt a $5 million price tag was exorbitant for a non-closer, calling such a figure “half-baked” and a “moon shot.” Club president Randy Levine addressed the hearing in a press conference on Saturday, chastising Betances’ agents for suggesting a figure that’s usually reserved for elite closers like, say, Aroldis Chapman. Via Heyman:

Had Betances won his case against the team, Heyman notes, it would have been an unprecedented figure for a non-closer to receive in his first year of arbitration.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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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.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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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.