Cliff Lee is obviously atop the Yankees’ offseason shopping list regardless of whether or not general manager Brian Cashman is “desperate” to sign him, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that they’ve also “expressed interest in” Jorge De La Rosa.
De La Rosa is a left-handed starting pitcher, so it seems pretty obvious that any interest the Yankees have in him is as a fallback plan should Lee sign elsewhere, which is fortunate for De La Rosa in that it could help drive up his asking price.
New York is one of several teams linked to De La Rosa already this offseason and the left-hander is widely viewed as the second-best starter on the market behind Lee, but that has more to do with a weak crop of free agent starters than it does De La Rosa.
De La Rosa turned his career around after being traded to the Rockies in 2008 and has great strikeout numbers, but he’s also a 30-year-old pitcher with a 5.02 career ERA, has never posted an ERA below 4.20, and has never thrown 190 innings. His three-year run in Colorado was very solid, as he went 34-24 with a 4.49 ERA and 434 strikeouts in 437 innings, but he also walked 4.1 batters per nine innings, missed significant time with injuries, and posted a mediocre 4.19 ERA away from Coors Field.
De La Rosa is a good starting pitcher, but he’s also one of the best bets to be overpaid this offseason.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.