Ken Rosenthal has an update on free agent left hander Jorge De La Rosa, noting that the former Colorado Rockies pitcher could act sooner rather than later. That’s not huge news, since speculation out of Colorado from Troy Renck said that De La Rosa wouldn’t necessarily wait for Cliff Lee to sign if the right offer came along. However, Rosenthal makes it sound like the market for De La Rosa is heating up:
The Rockies and Nationals have made offers to De La Rosa, and one or two other clubs also might submit proposals within the next 24 hours, major-league sources say.
The Pirates and Orioles are among the other teams that have expressed interest in De La Rosa. The Yankees also have checked in, as they do on most prominent free agents, but their priority is Lee.
The Rockies have said that they aren’t willing to offer more than three years, and feel that their former starter will get a four or five year deal from another team. So while Colorado has made an offer, they don’t seem to be contenders to win De La Rosa, unless he takes fewer years to play under pitching coach Bob Apodaca.
The Orioles could be serious contenders for De La Rosa. They offered a $48 M deal to Victor Martinez before he signed with the Detroit Tigers, so they do have money to spend. As for the Pirates, Dejan Kovacevic had an update today from De La Rosa’s agent, noting that the Pirates remain interested in the left hander.
I don’t recall the last time the Pirates made a big free agent splash, and because of that, it seems strange to think that they could be a favorite to land a guy like De La Rosa. However, the three things that are most commonly mentioned about De La Rosa are:
-He’s being pursued by the Nationals, Orioles, and Pirates
-The Pirates have made him their top target
-He won’t necessarily wait until Cliff Lee is signed
The Pirates don’t have to worry about competing against contenders with the Nationals and Orioles involved in the bidding, especially with all of the contenders focusing on Lee. If De La Rosa is willing to sign before Lee, then there’s a good chance that other contending teams won’t enter the mix. At that point it’s up to the Pirates to submit a bid that can compete with the Orioles and Nationals, at which point the Clint Hurdle connection could work in their favor. Like most people, I’m skeptical that they can sign De La Rosa, all because the Pirates haven’t signed a big free agent in forever. That said, there is some hope, due to the above reasons, combined with the talk that the Pirates have De La Rosa as their top target and remain interested. The Pirates have to know De La Rosa’s price range, and that he will draw interest to require a competitive deal, so the fact that they remain interested at this point has to be a positive sign, even if there are no guarantees that they can land their top free agent target.