Jorge de la Rosa Rumors

Rockies Links: Cuddyer, De La Rosa, Tulo

Here’s the latest out of the Mile High City…

  • Michael Cuddyer hasn’t spoken to the Rockies about a contract extension, though he tells Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he would certainly listen to such an offer.  “I love it here….I like [the] guys, I like the organization and I like everything about it. It would definitely be one of the tops on my list,” Cuddyer said.  The veteran is currently hoping for a good diagnosis on his shoulder injury and hopes he can return to action before the end of the season.  Cuddyer is set to be a free agent this winter.
  • Jorge de la Rosa is another pending Rockies free agent who could be traded, though could re-sign with Colorado this winter,  CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman notes.  Heyman ranks de la Rosa on the low side of his latest trade value stock watch piece, but the southpaw bounced back from a tough June with a quality start and win over the Dodgers on Saturday.
  • With Troy Tulowitzki healthy and producing at an MVP-type level, Fangraphs’ Mike Petriello argues that it’s time for the Rockies to trade their superstar.  Colorado’s hopes of contending in the near future look shaky at best, Petriello opines, so there’s no point in keeping Tulowitzki around on a losing team.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Lester, De La Rosa, Rangers, Padres

The Red Sox would like to re-open negotiations with Jon Lester, but it may not be in the player’s best interest according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in his latest video. Based on where negotiations left off, a large gap exists between club and player. It’s unlikely the two parties could bridge the difference in a short period of time. Says Rosenthal, Lester would like to avoid being labelled as selfish, a distraction, or a mercenary, all of which could result from rejecting an offer mid-season. If the Red Sox trade Lester, then they may shut the door on re-signing him. Many players treat a trade as a “sign of rejection.”

NL West Links: Johnson, Hawkins, Rockies, Dodgers

Josh Johnson reached out to the Giants and Padres to let them know they were his first choices for a new team, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (all Twitter links).  Both teams play close to Johnson's home in Las Vegas and also have pitcher-friendly ballparks that are ideal for a hurler looking to rebuild his value on a one-year contract.  Schulman isn't sure if the Giants made Johnson an offer, though Johnson's chances of joining the club have likely dimmed now that San Francisco has signed Tim Hudson.  Starting pitching isn't an offseason priority for the Padres, though a healthy and in-form Johnson projects as the ace of San Diego's rotation.

Here are some more items from around the NL West…

  • The Rockies' one-year, $2.5MM agreement with LaTroy Hawkins "blew away" the Mets' offer to the veteran reliever, a source tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.  Colorado also outbid the Braves, who didn't need Hawkins in either a closing or setup role, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).
  • Now that the Rockies have signed Hawkins, Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Sulia link) opines that the club needs to pursue the likes of Edward Mujica, Joe Smith or Jose Veras to further upgrade their shaky bullpen.  Renck also looks at how the Hawkins signing impacts Rex Brothers' role as Colorado's "closer of the future."
  • Also from Renck (Sulia link), the Rockies and left-hander Jorge De La Rosa haven't begun talks on a contract extension.  De La Rosa's current deal is up after the 2014 season and Renck reported last month that both sides have interest in continuing their relationship.  The southpaw also tells Renck that he is recovered from the thumb injury that bothered him down the stretch last season.
  • The Dodgers have received "moderate to moderate-plus" trade interest in Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, an official tells Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown.  We heard last week that the Dodgers were open to offers for Kemp, Ethier or Carl Crawford in order to free up payroll space and a spot in the outfield.  Brown's piece outlines the Dodgers' offseason priorities, beginning with Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw.
  • Juan Uribe is looking for a three-year contract, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link).  The Dodgers are interested in bringing Uribe back but not at that length, which Heyman admits is "probably a stretch."  Indeed, Tim Dierkes said that Uribe would be weighing one- or two-year offers in MLBTR's free agent profile of the third baseman.
  • The Dodgers would be better off trading to upgrade their rotation than signing a free agent hurler, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon opines.  "With the exception of [Masahiro] Tanaka, it’s an exceptionally flawed market for free agent starting pitchers and it seems like the Dodgers are more than aware of that. Much as they’d like to improve their rotation, they might be better served to sit this one out," Saxon writes.
  • In other NL West news from earlier today, we collected some more Giants news items and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported that the Dodgers signed Brendan Harris to a minor league deal.

Rockies Expected To Talk Extension With De La Rosa

Earlier today, the Rockies exercised their 2014 club option on left-hander Jorge De La Rosa. That decision will keep De La Rosa under contract for a very reasonable $11MM, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets that the Rockies may have eyes on keeping him in Denver longer, as the two sides are expected to discuss a multiyear deal in the offseason (Twitter link).

Renck elaborates (via Sulia), opining that Colorado should be aggressive because De La Rosa is one of few successful pitchers in franchise history who have expressed interest in remaining in Denver despite the hitters' paradise that is Coors Field.  De La Rosa likes pitching for the Rockies, and his preference is to stay there, according to Renck.

De La Rosa, who will turn 33 next season, pitched to a 3.49 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.  He was also comfortable at high altitude this year and allowed a lower OPS at home (.695) than on the road (.746).  However, his lifetime body of work doesn't quite jive with those numbers.  For his career, the left-hander owns a 4.70 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.  

As MLBTR's offseason outlook for the Rockies explains, Colorado has a great deal of question marks in their rotation beyond De La Rosa, Tyler Chatwood, and Jhoulys Chacin.  Locking De La Rosa up beyond 2014 would help stabilize their rotation over the next few years.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Rockies Exercise 2014 Option For Jorge De La Rosa

The Rockies announced, via Twitter, that they have officially exercised their $11MM club option on Jorge De La Rosa for the 2014 season.

The move comes as no surprise, given De La Rosa's strong 2013 season. In his first full season since 2011 Tommy John surgery the 32-year-old De La Rosa pitched to a 3.49 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate in 167 2/3 innings.  De-la-rosa-jorge

De La Rosa's strikeout rate is down quite a bit from its peak levels, but perhaps that's to be expected given his proximity to Tommy John surgery; his average fastball velocity checked in at 91.1 mph in 2013 — two full miles an hour slower than when he averaged 93.3 mph from 2009-10. In spite of his decrease in punchouts, it's hard to argue with his results. Fangraphs valued his contribution at 2.9 wins above replacement, while Baseball-Reference pegged him at 4.3 WAR.

De La Rosa's agent, Paul Cohen of TWC Sports, originally negotiated a two-year, $21.5MM contract that contained a $11MM player option for a third season. De La Rosa exercised that option after pitching just 10 2/3 innings last season while recovering from his surgery. In doing so, he triggered a clause that gave the Rockies a club option for a fourth year at the same $11MM rate.

De La Rosa figures to front a pitching staff that will also include right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood based on their own success in 2013, but beyond that, there's little certainty in the Rockies' rotation. Pitching should once again be a major offseason priority for director of Major League operations Bill Geivett and GM Dan O'Dowd. Colorado's current internal options include Drew Pomeranz, Juan Nicasio and Chad Bettis. First-rounders Jonathan Gray, Eddie Butler and Tyler Anderson are all on the horizon as well, though each will require more time in the minors before being ready to join Colorado's rotation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NL Notes: Phillies, Reds, Rockies, Figgins

As players, coaches, and front office personnel begin to arrive in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training 2013, let's take a look at the news and notes from the National League:

Jorge De La Rosa Exercises Player Option

Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa has exercised his player option for 2013, the Rockies announced (on Twitter). He'll earn $11MM in 2013, the club now holds an $11MM option for his services in 2014.

De La Rosa, 31, allowed 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings across just three starts this year after missing most of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He's pitched to a 4.39 ERA in just 69 2/3 innings for Colorado due to the elbow surgery since re-signing with the club two offseason ago.

Quick Hits: Bard, Halladay, De La Rosa

Carlos Zambrano hit and pitched the Marlins into a first place tie with the Nationals in the NL East.  Zambrano hit a 431-foot home run, the longest by a pitcher in four years according to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, and struck out seven in 7 2/3 innings.  Here are today's other pitcher-related links.

Quick Hits: Payrolls, Orioles, De La Rosa, Red Sox

On this day in 1988, the Padres traded Rich Gossage and Ray Hayward to the Cubs for Mike Brumley and Keith Moreland.  Here's a look at today's links..

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees and Red Sox are no longer alone as financial superpowers. Sherman also looks at five offseason market trends that will impact the 2012 season and beyond.
  • In analyzing the Orioles' collection of non-roster invitees and the 40-man roster decisions they'll face this Spring, Roch Kubatko of writes that Baltimore would eat a portion of Kevin Gregg's $5.8MM salary to trade him. Kubatko also speculates that an out of options player like Pedro Strop could be moved during Spring Training.
  • Free agent Scott Kazmir is set to throw for scouts in Houston on Wednesday, tweets Buster Olney of
  • Jorge De La Rosa will undoubtedly exercise his $11MM player option for 2013 as he rehabs from elbow surgery, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.  If he does that, the Rockies receive a $11MM club option for 2014.
  • Red Sox officials seem to think they’ll know what they’ll be getting from the Cubs “before the official start of spring training,’’ but it's not clear if that refers to when pitchers and catchers report or when the full squad arrives, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe
  • If Magglio Ordoñez doesn't find a big-league job this season, he will have his own professional baseball club waiting for him in his native Venezuela, writes Robert Downs of the Detroit Free Press.  The slugger is set purchase shares in the Caribes de Anzoátegui when he retires.
  • The Indians and Casey Kotchman never talked about anything but a one-year deal, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer.  The first baseman signed with the Tribe for $3MM earlier this month.

Rockies Notes: Giambi, Cuddyer, Young, Rotation

Troy Renck of the Denver Post took some time to answer questions from his followers on Twitter just now. Renck touches on a lot of offseason topics for the Rox, so let's take a look (all links to Renck's Twitter):