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Colorado Rockies And Jorge De La Rosa: Establishing The Market

One way for the Colorado Rockies to enter 2011 in good shape would be to sign Jorge De La Rosa to a new deal. He is set to hit the free agent market in November, but the Rockies are already quietly progressing on signing De La Rosa to a contract, reports Buster Olney. But what should a new deal for De La Rosa look like?

Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post offers Cliff Lee's future contract as helping establish a set of parameters for De La Rosa's. Well, that would only have an impact if the Rockies don't sign De La Rosa over the next two weeks. If the Rockies fail to re-sign the lefty, a bidding war will start.

Cliff Lee is the top pitcher on the market this offseason, and the Yankees will definitely try to out spend all the other teams. That means a contract over $100 million is possible. That would certainly raise De La Rosa's value, as he's likely the second-best free agent pitcher and the next-best lefty. Armstrong indicates the Rockies are hoping a three-year deal with get De La Rosa signed, but a Lee deal well over $100 million could put De La Rosa somewhere around half of that.

However, it is better to look at what sort of minimum deal De La Rosa is already looking at, which will come from Ted Lilly's new three-year deal with the Dodgers. The details won't become available until tomorrow, but this deal will establish the market for De La Rosa's services.

De La Rosa went 8-7, 4.22 ERA this season in 20 starts. He stranded base runners at 71.5 percent and saw his ground ball percentage move up from 44.7 to 52.3. Also, he averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine inning, third-best among starters on the team.

If he re-signs with the Rockies, De La Rosa will join Ubaldo Jimenez, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel in the rotation.