The Rockies tried to get Jorge De La Rosa signed to an extension late this season, but that’s apparently not going to happen now and the team is resigned to the fact that he’s going to hit the market. They’re not sweating it, though:
“When players get this close to free agency, unless they are completely overwhelmed with an offer, they really want to see what the market will bear. That’s part of the process,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “We continue to have a strong desire to bring him back. The conversations have been great.”
It’s got to be a great year to be a free agent pitcher given how thin the market is. I mean, as a fallback option after De La Rosa, the Denver Post story mentions Jake Westbrook — who most are assuming will stay in St. Louis — and Javier Vazquez. If you’re De La Rosa’s agent, I bet your negotiation is pretty easy: “Here is what we want. If that’s not acceptable to you, here is Javier Vazquez’s phone number. Good luck with that.”
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.