Jorge De La Rosa signs two-year extension: The next best thing for the Rockies


Colorado Rockies’ starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa is having an outstanding season. Up until one week ago, he was set to hit free agency at season’s end.

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The Rockies reasonably had four options with De La Rosa as far as what they could have done this season:

  • Trade him and his expiring contract at the trade deadline
  • Work out a contract extension with him
  • Issue him a qualifying offer (approx. $14 million) this winter to guarantee draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere
  • Letting him walk in free agency

Those options are presented in the preferred order from best to worst, at least as far as I am concerned. You could flip-flop the top two options, which the Rockies decided was the best course of action and is perfectly reasonable. In that regard, the primary consideration is if the Rockies will get the same quality performances from De La Rosa in his age 34 and 35 seasons.

I am skeptical, but once the Rockies didn’t trade him they needed to sign him to an extension. The two-year, $25 million deal that the two sides agreed to was just right once they decided on this option.

This was an issue of risk management for the Rockies as they tried to maximize the value of a beloved pitcher while he continued to deliver an outstanding season. If they did not want to offer an extension or did not believe that was a possibility, they needed to sell high and trade him. If they weren’t going to trade De La Rosa, an extension was a must.

Option no. 3, the qualifying offer, would have been a dicey and ultimately unappealing route to follow. As we have seen the past few off-seasons, that system doesn’t always work out for all involved parties: the players have trouble finding work, and teams aren’t necessarily guaranteed that draft pick compensation if the player waits until after the draft to sign.

Because De La Rosa is a left-handed starting pitcher, the odds are pretty good he would have signed somewhere this winter if it came to that, but I am relieved that the Rockies didn’t go the qualifying offer route. Now we just need them to avoid the temptation of issuing Michael Cuddyer a qualifying offer.

As for letting De La Rosa walk, that obviously wasn’t going to be an option, even for this bumbling front office.

In the end, the Rockies had two preferred courses of action with Jorge De La Rosa. They picked one and got things handled before the end of the season. That is a good first step as this organization looks ahead to an off-season full of questions.