The Rockies and the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which owns Coors Field, agreed to a 30-year, $200MM lease Wednesday to continue housing the team there, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post. The two sides had spent four years negotiating the contract, which Major League Baseball approved Wednesday. The Rockies’ lease would have expired Thursday without an agreement, and that could have put their future in question. Instead, they’re now in line to remain at Coors Field through 2047. And, to the team’s credit, none of the pending $200MM in improvements to the stadium will come via taxpayer money. Coors opened in 1995 at a cost of $300MM, more than half of which ($162MM) was public money.
More from the majors:
- If the Rays don’t pare down their 40-man roster by trading catcher Curt Casali, they’re likely to designate fellow backstop Luke Maile or right-hander Ryan Garton for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin first noted last week, after the Rays had signed Derek Norris, that Casali or Maile might not be long for the organization. The team optioned the two catchers and Garton to the minors Wednesday.
- The Orioles are aiming for a May 10 return for right-hander Chris Tillman, manager Buck Showalter informed David Hall of MLB.com. Tillman has been dealing with a shoulder issue since early in the offseason, though he does feel good about the progress he has made, per Hall. When he comes back, not only will Tillman try to help pitch the Orioles to another playoff berth, but the free agent-to-be will attempt to make a case for a rich contract.
- Rangers righty Andrew Cashner seemed likely to return from biceps tendinitis by April 15, the first time the team will need a fifth starter, but that’s n0w in doubt. Pitching coach Doug Brocail told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he’s “not real optimistic” Cashner will debut in two weeks, and noted: “I want to make sure that when we get him back, we get him back for the full year. I don’t want any setbacks.” In the meantime, Texas could turn to Dillon Gee and/or Nick Martinez to fill in for Cashner.
- The Giants have chosen righty Neil Ramirez over southpaw Steven Okert for their final bullpen spot, Alex Espinoza of MLB.com was among those to report. The out-of-options Ramirez, who inked a minor league pact with the Giants over the winter, planned to opt out of the deal had he not made their roster, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. San Francisco “didn’t want to lose Ramirez,” said manager Bruce Bochy, whose bullpen will open the year with one lefty (Ty Blach).