After being limited to just 13 starts between 2011-2012 due to Tommy John surgery, Jorge De La Rosa has bounced back quite nicely this season with a 3.21 ERA and 86/44 K/BB ratio in 126 1/3 innings across 22 starts. And the Rockies intend to keep him in the fold for next season.
According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Rockies owner Dick Monfort said yesterday that the team intends to pick up De La Rosa’s $11 million club option for 2014. The 32-year-old left-hander originally signed a two-year, $21.5 million contract with the Rockies in November of 2010. When he exercised his $11 million player option for 2013 last October, it triggered a club option for 2014.
De La Rosa currently has his lowest strikeout (6.13 K.9) rate since 2007, but he is also walking fewer batters than ever before. Meanwhile, his ground ball tendencies have allowed him to keep the ball in the ballpark. He may not be a frontline starter, but reliable arms are hard to come by in Colorado.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.
Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.
Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.
Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.