Troy Renck of the Denver Post says that the Rockies have drawn a line in the sand and that they will not give free agent pitcher Jorge De La Rosa anything longer than a three-year deal. If he’s not interested, they’d prefer to go with Carl Pavano or Javier Vazquez to take his place.
Deep thought: if the team that knows De La Rosa better than anyone is preemptively announcing that they won’t go too far out on a limb with him, perhaps you should be concerned if your team will.
My view is that for as much as he’s been called the next-best starter on the market after Cliff Lee, he’s a risky pick. He goes deep into counts and has not shown himself to be particularly durable. I also think that it is wrong to expect him to suddenly improve if taken out Coors Field because his splits don’t suggest that the park hurts him that much.
Not saying he’s a bad pitcher. Just saying that he should not a be guy that a team with pretensions of contention should plan on making the centerpiece of their rotation.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”