The Colorado Rockies’ obvious top priority this offseason is bringing back Jorge De La Rosa, the team’s number-two pitcher behind All-Star ace Ubaldo Jimenez. De La Rosa hasn’t said much publicly since the end of the season, but he has apparently talked with Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca. “He’s in a great place,” Apodaca tells The Denver Post. “I talked to him, and he said he wants to come back desperately; he really does. He’s comfortable here. The Rockies gave him a second chance. He trusts them and he feels the trust they have in him.”
Before the team signed De La Rosa as a free agent in 2008, he was a journeyman pitcher who had proved he could pitch but was erratic and often disappointing. He landed on six different teams, including one in his native Mexico, before coming to the Rockies, where his play solidified and he’s emerged as a top-flight left-handed pitcher—certainly among the league’s best.
But the Rockies didn’t make him an offer before the free-agency deadline, and this weekend, his agent will begin negotiations with the Rockies along with any other team that wants him. Reports suggest De La Rosa will field offers in the four or five-year, $50 million range.
Minneapolis’ Star-Tribune wants the Twins to offer him a four-year, $44 million contract, but The Denver Post’s Woody Paige thinks De La Rosa’s affection for the Rockies and the city of Denver will convince him to stay for three more years and $33 million. Let’s hope the Rox have sentimentality going for them. If not, De La Rosa’s pocketbook may end up making the final decision for him.