Rockies, De La Rosa making little progress in contract talks

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Jorge De La Rosa registered a solid 4.22 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 20 starts this season, fanning 113 batters and walking only 55 over 121.2 innings.

The Rockies were hoping to lock him up to a multi-year extension this offseason before he got a taste of the free agent market.  That plan is apparently not going well.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted Sunday that talks are “progressing slowly” between the two sides.

De La Rosa is fairly young (29), really talented, and possibly headed to another club.  The market for starters this offseason is thin, especially with Ted Lilly now signed, and every major league club could use a solid No. 3 starter.

The left-handed De La Rosa has improved his ERA and WHIP in each of the last five seasons — not an easy task at Coors Field.  He’s always posted impressive strikeout numbers and would do well calling any ballpark home.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.