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.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.