As one of the premier left handed starters remaining on the free agent market, Jorge De La Rosa expected to garner plenty of attention from clubs desperate for starting pitching. Troy Renck of the Denver Post has listed the first wave of teams looking to pay for De La Rosa's services.
Teams are expected to begin meeting w De La Rosa's reps today. Washington, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Rockies, Yankees among those w interest
The Yankees are not a surprising addition to that list, as they are normally linked to any and all top free agents. But a couple of names are surprising, including teams in the midst of rebuilds.
Pittsburgh rumors are directly related to the recent hiring of former Colorado manager Clint Hurdle, as the Pirates have also been linked lately to that other free agent lefty, Jeff Francis. It's unknown how big of an influence Hurdle holds over De La Rosa (and Francis), but the interest has been confirmed by multiple sources.
Baltimore is another surprising selection, as they normally avoid bidding on free agent pitchers. They have a very young team that may become competitive this next season, and potentially see De La Rosa as that top-flight starter they need to anchor their inexperienced pitching staff, and De La Rosa is certainly an improvement over Kevin Millwood.
Washington resembles Baltimore two years ago. Their core is still developing, but with the setbackof Stephen Strasburg, they are in desperate need of a pitcher who can provide quality innings. Considering De La Rosa's inconsistent injury history (2009 is the only season he has ever pitched more than 130 innings), he is an odd fit within the Nationals rotation.
Colorado has stood firm on signing De La Rosa to a maximum of three years, and that may become the tipping point towards signing with another team, such as Baltimore, who is willing to offer a four year deal. The Rockies don't want a potential albatross contract such as De La Rosa's to become a factor when players such as Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki near free agency.