Monday, February 22, 2010

Jorge De La Rosa and the 2011 Free Agent Class

A pitcher actually WANTS to stay in Colorado? What a concept!
-- Lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who led the Rockies in wins last season with 16, can become a free agent at season's end. De La Rosa said his ambition is to have a strong year to earn the right to stay with Colorado.
De La Rosa will be a free agent at the end of the season and is one of the more interesting cases out there. De La Rosa had the best season of his career with the Rockies in 2009 by posting a 4.38 ERA and winning an impressive 16 games. The left hander will be 29 in April and would seem to be entering the prime of his career.

The pressing question that surrounds De La Rosa entering the 2010 season is this: can he continue to improve and develop into a top flight starting pitcher? De La Rosa has improved drastically during his two years with the Rockies and if he takes another step forward this season, then the class of free agent starting pitchers could become even deeper.

De La Rosa's biggest advantage entering this winter is his age because he will be just 30 years old in 2011. There are a number of top flight starting pitchers out there this winter (Beckett, Lilly, Lee, Vazquez, Webb) and even though De La Rosa does not have the resume of those pitchers, he is younger than all five of those guys. Despite the large number of quality free agent starting pitcher available this winter, I think De La Rosa has a nice opportunity to land a multi year deal this winter.

Even though Colorado might be able to save a few bucks down the line by locking up De La Rosa now, there is far too much risk involved with offering De La Rosa a long term deal right now considering his limited success at the big league level.

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