All indications are that Jorge De La Rosa’s nine-year run with the Rockies is at an end. The southpaw, who largely thrived at Coors Field, spoke with MLB.com’s Thomas Harding about the possibility that he’ll be looking for a new organization this winter. De La Rosa, 35, ended the year with a 5.51 ERA and 7.3 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9. He also allowed 10.5 basehits per nine in what was his worst season in Colorado (excepting a truncated 2012). De La Rosa spoke well of his time with the Rockies and did not rule out a return, while noting that he battled through health and mechanical issues this year. He added that he “liked” pitching out of the bullpen, though he added that he still believes he can succeed as a starter. It remains to be seen how the market will view the southpaw, and whether he’ll be pursued in some capacity by his long-time organization, but there figures to be a fair bit of interest in a pitcher who has proven able to supply solid innings in a tough pitching environment.
- There are also questions moving forward for Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe, though he remains under Minnesota’s control for one more year. As Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports, the 30-year-old acknowledged that his future with the organization is uncertain. Plouffe dealt with injuries for much of the year, which he says was especially problematic because he tried to rush a return. With a $7.25MM base salary heading into a final run at arbitration, where he’ll tote a .260/.303/.420 batting line and a dozen homers over 344 plate appearances, Plouffe could be non-tendered or perhaps tendered and traded by a Twins team that suffered through an abysmal 2016 campaign.
- The Cardinals still view Michael Wacha as a starter, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports, though that’s in greater question than ever after an injury-riddled 2016 season that was easily his worst as a big leaguer. Skipper Mike Matheny suggests that Wacha’s shoulder health could be improved by building up his upper-body strength. “As you start to look for some compensation and where there might be weaknesses, how can he build up some parts of his body muscularly that will help support maybe the arm and the demand that comes with being a starting pitcher?” asked Matheny. “When his health is right, you’re seeing the right arm action. The next step is going to be the one that’s missing right now. That’s consistency in the strike zone. He’s a rare talent that we need to figure out how to get into a consistent spot.”
- Sticking with the Cardinals, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at some options for the team in center field — which increasingly seems to be a target area this winter. He runs through a variety of trade and free agent targets, some of whom seem more achievable than others. At this stage, it’s tough to handicap from the outside, though GM John Mozeliak has certainly hinted that defense will be a priority in the search.
- Pitching coach Larry Rothschild will be back with the Yankees for his seventh year with the organization, per a club announcement. He had been the only member of the coaching staff who had yet to agree to terms with the team to return. With his re-signing, Joe Girardi and the rest of the uniformed staff are all set to repeat in 2017.