Jorge De La Rosa’s comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery has dragged on far longer than expected, but there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel.
De La Rosa started a Single-A playoff game yesterday, throwing five innings of three-run ball, and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he’s now “on the brink of pitching in the big leagues.”
He’ll join the Rockies this week and according to Renck could start as soon as Thursday against the Giants, which would be his first game action versus major-league hitters since May 24, 2011.
De La Rosa has a $11 million player option for 2013 that he’ll obviously exercise, as that’s probably about $8 million more than he’d get on the open market as a free agent right now.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, or else will play first base, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.
The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.