UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, De La Rosa will receive $32-33 million from the Rockies, essentially matching the three-year contract Ted Lilly got with the Dodgers.
11:07 PM: It’s a busy evening for the Rockies. Not only are they about to lock up their star shortstop, but they are close to retaining a key piece of their starting rotation.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Rockies are close to a three-year contract with Jorge De La Rosa. Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the deal is “believed to be worth” $30 million over the three years. De La Rosa was reportedly seeking a four-year contract at minimum, so if true, Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd did well to hold firm at three years guaranteed.
It’s mildly surprising that De La Rosa is willing to sign so quickly, as many saw him as a fallback option for the teams involved in the bidding for Cliff Lee. The 29-year-old left-hander was regarded as the second best starting pitcher available this winter, but that isn’t saying much, really. His 4.22 ERA this past season was the best of his career and he still averaged 4.1 BB/9. De La Rosa has evolved into a fine mid-rotation starter in Colorado, but he never deserved to be paid like an ace.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays again on Thursday evening, 4-0, and in doing so eliminated the Yankees and Astros from contention in the American League Wild Card race.
The offense pecked away with a run in each of the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez limited the Jays to one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Donnie Hart got the final out of the seventh. Brad Brach dominated with two scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame.
The Orioles and Blue Jays are now tied for the first and second Wild Card slots in the AL. The Tigers’ game with the Indians was postponed due to rain and they now sit 1.5 games behind both the O’s and Jays. The Mariners and Athletics game will begin shortly with the Mariners 2.5 games behind.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.