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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.