Rockies To Extend Jorge De La Rosa

The Rockies announced (via Twitter) that they have agreed to terms with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa on a two-year extension. The deal guarantees De La Rosa $25MM and contains no options, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He’ll earn $12.5MM in both 2015 and 2016, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. De La Rosa is represented by agent Paul Cohen of TWC Sports.

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De La Rosa, 33, has fared well in this, his seventh season with the Rockies, pitching to a 4.26 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 51.9 percent ground-ball rate in 160 2/3 innings of work. Because he’s reached 10 years of Major League service time and has spent seven seasons with the Rockies, there’s no need for a no-trade clause, as he now has 10-and-5 rights.

De La Rosa has seen a strong uptick in his fastball velocity this year in his second full season back from Tommy John surgery, averaging 92.3 mph on his heater after averaging 91.1 mph last season and 90.5 mph in a brief 10-inning sample back in 2012. He was set to hit free agency following the season, and as I noted earlier this year, his velocity increase from 2013 to 2014 was the second-largest of any potential free agent starter.

The Rockies have made it a known fact that they preferred to hold onto De La Rosa, which is why they didn’t entertain serious trade offers and didn’t trade him when he was claimed on waivers earlier this month. Colorado’s reported asking price on De La Rosa at the trade deadline was Kevin Gausman, when asked by the Orioles, and the team was set to make him a qualifying offer before he hit the open market, according to previous reports.

A qualifying offer would’ve given De La Rosa the opportunity to take a one-year deal worth roughly $15MM, but it also would’ve hindered his free agent stock, as has been the case with pitchers coming off solid seasons in recent years. Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse and Ubaldo Jimenez all had lengthy journeys through free agency, though Jimenez came out well with a four-year, $50MM contract. De La Rosa’s average annual value is right in line with that of Jimenez and is greater than that of Lohse. In a broader spectrum, his $12.5MM annual salary falls in line with what other mid-rotation starters have earned in recent trips through free agency, and his two-year term is comparable to that of free agents in their mid- to late 30s (e.g. Bronson Arroyo, Tim Hudson).

De La Rosa will provide a veteran presence on a young Rockies staff that has been decimated by injuries. Tyler Chatwood has undergone Tommy John surgery, as has top prospect Daniel Winkler, while Eddie Butler and Jhoulys Chacin have both battled shoulder issues. Brett Anderson‘s injury woes continued with Colorado after an offseason trade from Oakland, and fellow trade acquisition Jordan Lyles spent time on the DL this season with a broken hand (though that was more of a fluke injury). Next season, De La Rosa could be joined by Lyles, Butler and perhaps top prospect Jon Gray.

Given the difficulty that the Rockies have typically had in luring free agent starters to the launching pad that is Coors Field, the team is likely quite pleased to have retained its longest tenured starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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16 Comments on "Rockies To Extend Jorge De La Rosa"


Kevin Kim
10 months 25 days ago

committing even more money to declining veterans? great job Rockies, really putting your impeccable talent evaluation skills to good use! keep up the good work!

Seamaholic
10 months 25 days ago

Declining? What stats are you looking at? De La Rosa is the best Coors pitcher the Rockies have ever had, except for Ubaldo’s peak of two seasons. He’s actually better at Coors than on the road. To get him for only 2/25 is a great signing.

Stratocaster
10 months 24 days ago

Really not sure what you mean by declining here. Getting a solid mid-rotation arm who’s proven himself in that park for 2/$25M? If your argument was that the team may not contend in the next two years anyway, I could at least see that position. Somebody has to pitch, though, and this seems like a solid move to me.

Scott Berlin
10 months 24 days ago

Mid-rotation? More like back end in my opinion, at least looking at his career.

Seamaholic
10 months 24 days ago

He’s got a 100 ERA+ in 2014, which means league average (he was considerably better last year). So, by definition middle-of-rotation. Last year he was a legit #2.

Steven Mangold
10 months 25 days ago

He must really like it here if he wants to play for this team for two more years…

Stratocaster
10 months 24 days ago

I think it’s a good deal for both sides. He would have had trouble doing any better than that as a FA with draft pick compensation attached, I think.

ace
10 months 25 days ago

I think that this is a ok move if we plan on contending next year

ramiro magana
10 months 25 days ago

In a division with the Giants and Dodgers? Not happening for at least 3 years when their pitchers in the minors develop.

Metsfan93
10 months 24 days ago

Jon Gray and Eddie Butler are closer than three years away. They’re basically here for 2015.

ramiro magana
10 months 24 days ago

I think Gray is a July call up but yes both will be there and by the three years I was estimating the time in the bigs for them to become quality pitchers. But yeah when they are developed they’ll have Liles, de la rosa, butler, gray. That will be more than enough with their offense.

Desmond Melia
10 months 25 days ago

I’d rather play for a Japanese team. The Rockies & that park are horrid.

10 months 25 days ago

Nice coincidence this comes on the day of that September extensions post earlier. Seems like a fairly reasonable deal given the market

Conquerbeard
10 months 24 days ago

I honestly had no idea he was that old. I’m genuinely surprised.

Jaysfan1994
10 months 24 days ago

Being injured nearly every season does that.

Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
10 months 24 days ago

I actually thought he was older. He’s been around quite awhile.