The Dodgers and Mariners swapped some minor leaguers on Wednesday evening. The Dodgers announced the acquisition of infielder Drew Jackson and pitcher Aneurys Zabala from the Mariners in exchange for pitcher Chase De Jong.
Jackson, 23, was the Mariners’ top infield prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was selected by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Last year, at High-A Bakersfield, Jackson hit .258/.332/.345 with six home runs, 47 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 598 plate appearances as a shortstop. Jackson is known for having plenty of speed and a strong arm.
Zabala, 20, spent last season with the Mariners’ rookie ball team. He made 16 relief appearances spanning 25 innings, putting up a 2.88 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio. The Mariners signed him as an international free agent in April 2014.
De Jong, 23, was rated as the Dodgers’ 16th-best prospect and seventh-best pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline. The Blue Jays selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft. De Jong spent last year mostly with Double-A Tulsa, posting a 2.86 ERA with a 125/39 K/BB ratio in 141 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in September and made one solid start.
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.