Jorge De La Rosa has a been a lone bright spot of an otherwise dreadful Colorado Rockies pitching staff this season. The 33-year-old lefty is 11-6 on the year, with a 4.16 ERA. He has been leaps and bounds better than any other Rockies starter. And the Rockies should trade him.
Despite a solid season, De La Rosa is not taking the Rockies to the postseason this year.
With July winding down and the dog days of August approaching, the Rockies (43-62) are not going to make the playoffs. August is the month of baseball contenders. The month where playoff teams, augmented by trade deadline pickups, separate themselves from the rest of the pack. “The rest of the pack,” meaning the Rockies.
After this season De La Rosa will become a free agent. Currently making 11 million dollars, De La Rosa will probably search for a short term deal from a contender after the season. It would be foolish of the Rockies to let De La Rosa walk out the door, without any compensation. While the Rockies certainly are not the Tampa Bay Rays, their best chance of consistent contention comes from a strong farm system. As such, the Rockies could bolster their farmer system by trading De La Rosa to a contender, for prospects.
De La Rosa trade value is difficult gauge. A career 81-63 record with a 4.19 ERA is not stellar. However, his 66-40 record while with the Rockies is certainly noteworthy given the disadvantages of pitching at Coors Field, and the overall lack of talent he’s played with, during his Rockies tenure. De la Rosa will not garner a blue chip prospect from any team, but could be swapped for several lesser prospects.
The Rockies best case scenario in the next 48 hours, before Thursday’s trade deadline, is to trade De La Rosa to a contending team, desperate for starting pitching. Several teams fit that scenario, including the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. De La Rosa’s 11 million dollar contract may end up being the deciding factor on whether or not he’s traded. It would stand to reason, given the Pirates spending history, that De La Rosa’s contract would price the Pirates out of acquiring him. That leaves the Blue Jays and Yankees. Recently, the Yankees have acquired veteran pitchers Chris Capuano and Brandon McCarthy. While De La Rosa is certainly better than both Capuano and McCarthy, after trading for both the Yankees may not have any desirable farm prospects left to trade.
The Blue Jays are currently in uncharted recent territory, being only 2.5 games out of first place in the AL East division race. With both the Boston Red Sox and Yankees having uncharacteristic down seasons, this may be the Blue Jays best chance in decades to make a postseason run. To that end, the Rockies can only hope that the Blue Jays will pay a high price for the services of De La Rosa.
Ultimately, for fans of the Rockies, trading De La Rosa will only be worth it if they believe that the Rockies front office can negotiate a deal that will give the Rockies back a group of young, talented prospects. Recent history would suggest that fans should not be optimistic about what the Rockies front office is capable of. Does everyone remember what the Rockies got in exchange for trading Ubaldo Jimenez, to the Cleveland Indians? Drew Pomeranz.
This does not mean that De la Rosa should not be traded, it simply means fans should be wary of moves made by the Dan O’Dowd front office.
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