Coming as no surprise, Rockies left-handed starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa has exercised the 2013 player option on his contract, according to the team's official twitter page. De La Rosa will be paid $11 million this season, currently the highest seasonal salary for any player on the team. Assuming his health has returned by Spring Training, De La Rosa is a contender for the opening day starter in Milwaukee.
Having missed over a season and a half due to his sudden 2011 injury that led to Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa's chances of finding a better salary on the free agent market were essentially nil. While his rehabilitation over the 11/12 offseason started smoothly, it became clear that the process would need to be slowed as he began to face live batters. He was activated at the end of the 2012 season, making three starts before the end of the season.
The activation of the 2013 option season grants the Rockies control over De La Rosa's fate in 2014, as the franchise gains control over a club option for another season of $11 million play. A superb rebound from De La Rosa in 2013 as he helps to anchor a young rotation could see that option picked up, but anything else probably ends with this as De La Rosa's final year in a Rockies uniform. With his post-surgery performance status still a mystery moving forward, there are a lot of questions in store for the starter as he move forward.
De La Rosa joins Jhoulys Chacin as starting pitchers that, health permitting, will certainly occupy two spots in the rotation.