Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson were not traded this summer: Revisiting those decisions


Foresight. Does the Colorado Rockies front office have it? Any of it? Even a little bit of it? That is the unfortunate question to consider when it comes to their decision to not trade Jorge De La Rosa and also to not trade Brett Anderson this summer.

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As we know by now, the Rockies re-signed De La Rosa to a two-year, $25 million extension last week. That deal will pay him a straight $12.5 million per season for the next two seasons (per Spotrac). There are no options or anything else of the sort. This extension brings the Rockies two more years of De La Rosa as he pitches into his mid-30’s, straight up, nothing else to it.

Presumably the Rockies turned away a number of trade offers for De La Rosa in July and August with the understanding that they planned to sign him to this kind of extension. The merits of that course of action are debatable, but that is a reasonable decision to make with the best starting pitcher in franchise history. It does raise an interesting question, however, about one of De La Rosa’s colleagues:

Why the heck didn’t the Rockies trade Brett Anderson?

Similar to De La Rosa, the Rockies had the opportunity to sell high on Anderson at the trade deadline. The Kansas City Royals were among the teams interested in Anderson.

Not only would the Rockies have been selling high, but they would have been doing so based on a small sample size. That would have been a good business decision. If nothing else, it would have been a way to manage risk for a franchise that does not have an awesome track record in that regard. Also, and most importantly, it would have been a no-brainer if the Rockies had any inclination that they could re-up with De La Rosa.

As a matter of fact, keeping Anderson was sold, at least in part, as a good plan because of the risk of losing De La Rosa this off-season. Granted, a report from Patrick Saunders at the time indicated the Rockies wanted to bring both pitchers back in 2015, but that is hard to envision at this point.

Eric Garcia McKinley of Rockies Zingers observed the same when De La Rosa signed his deal.

Furthermore, here is a sobering look at salaries that are on the books for 2015:

Remember also that the Rockies want to either re-sign or issue a qualifying offer to Michael Cuddyer and Drew Stubbs is arbitration eligible after making $4.1 million this season.

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You cannot look at those numbers and tell me that $12 million for Brett Anderson, coming off back surgery, is going to fit for a team that will have a $90-$95 million (ish) payroll once again next season.

Maybe the Rockies thought they were going to trade Tulowitzki or Gonzalez, pre-season-ending-injuries, to account for the money to pay Anderson. But that is unlikely given the company line with those two stars.

Unless that was the plan, the Rockies seriously fumbled this situation by failing to sell high on Anderson at the trade deadline. That analysis is offered in hindsight, of course, but the Rockies didn’t need to have that to make this decision. They didn’t need to be able to predict the future with Anderson’s health to know that trading him was the right call: they just needed to know their plan with De La Rosa.

Either they knew their plan with De La Rosa and kept Anderson anyway, or they completely lack foresight as an organization. Whatever the case, it is another discouraging series of decisions from this front office.

What else is new, right?