Nationals “have interest” in Jorge De La Rosa

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Apparently the Yankees aren’t the only team viewing Jorge De La Rosa as the “left-handed starting pitcher” fallback plan should they miss out on Cliff Lee, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals “have interest” in De La Rosa.

Of course, given Washington’s slim odds of actually signing Lee perhaps it’s not fair to call their pursuit of De La Rosa a fallback plan.

Ladson notes that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo actually signed a 17-year-old De La Rosa out of Mexico when he was the Diamondbacks’ scouting director in 1998. Whether or not that makes Rizzo any more likely to sign De La Rosa again a dozen years later is up for debate, but clearly quite a few teams view him as a top free-agent target in a weak market for starting pitching.

My guess is the 30-year-old southpaw with a 5.02 career ERA is about to be significantly overpaid.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics