Orioles “closely monitoring” Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa

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When the Rockies decide to start selling off high-priced veterans the Orioles figure to make a run at left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Connolly reports that the Orioles “have been closely monitoring and gathering background information” on De La Rosa, who started on Opening Day for the Rockies and has posted a 4.70 ERA in 18 starts overall this season at age 33.

De La Rosa was much more effective last season and also had a very strong 2011 campaign in Colorado, but considering his age, injury history, and the $5 million or so remaining on his contract for the second half he seems unlikely to command a huge return in trade.

Baltimore came into the season with plenty of rotation depth, including top prospect Kevin Gausman at Triple-A, but Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez all have ERAs above 4.00 and Bud Norris isn’t much ahead of them at 3.96. Still, for the Orioles to add a veteran starter like De La Rosa at the trade deadline there would seemingly have to be another move at play.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.