Are the Colorado Rockies out of the running for Jorge De La Rosa?

Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets the following:

Rockies walked away from meeting with De La Rosa's representative feeling like he will get a four-year deal from another team.

With the Rockies only willing to offer a 3-year deal to Jorge De La Rosa, it seems like the hard throwing lefty may head for greener pastures this offseason. The Nationals, Pirates, and Orioles are the most aggressive pursuers of De La Rosa's services thus far.

De La Rosa, 29, is coming off of what appears to be a career renaissance after several years of middling between the bullpen and rotation in Milwaukee, Arizona, and Kansas City. Since arriving in Colorado, he has found the sheer strikeout stuff scouts accredited to him as a prospect (and set 2 of the top 3 marks for strikeouts per 9 innings in Rockies franchise history, per Baseball-Reference) and found ways to rein his control in to passable levels. Pitching Coach Bob Apodaca, famous for helping pitchers rediscover their changeups/sinkers/splitters even helped De La Rosa's GB% back from the low 40%s to a career-high 52.3% in 2010.

While De La Rosa's xFIP (which is typically indicative of the level of pitching a pitcher is expected to pitch at going forward) is sitting prettily in the upper-mid-3's, his ~4.30 ERA over the past 2 seasons should still give teams pause. His fastball is still very hittable, despite its mid-90s velocity, and he lacks a dependable 4th pitch to complement his slider and improved changeup.

None of this is to say that Jorge De La Rosa is a BAD pitcher, by any means. A 3.77 xFIP puts him up in the tier of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, CC Sabathia, and even Ubaldo Jimenez. The difference between De La Rosa and these other pitchers is that nobody in that xFIP range walks as many batters as De La Rosa does. It could be argued that as long as he keeps his K/BB up at an acceptable level the walks aren't as big of a deal, but it's something to worry about if he leaves the tutelage of Bob Apodaca.

That said, it will be up to the Rockies to find a 3-4 WAR pitching replacement for De La Rosa. They are still linked to Javier Vazquez and Jon Garland, and ostensibly still a candidate to acquire James Shields. Funny story, James Shields posted a 3.72 xFIP and has a career 3.85 xFIP. Just saying.

With the trade of Clint Barmes to Houston, it would seem the Rockies aren't going to sit COMPLETELY pat this offseason, and given their last seasons' worth of trade deadlines, they're not afraid to make acquisitions. We'll just have to sit and watch at this point.

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