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Wednesday Rockpile: Lilly Gets Paid, De La Rosa Waits

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JDLR Watch

After seeing that fellow LHP free agent Ted Lilly has officially re-signed with the Dodgers for what is announced as a 3 year, $33 million contract with a two year full no-trade clause and a $3.5 million signing bonus spread over three years (Jon Heyman called it a bargain), the focus on Jorge De La Rosa becomes even sharper. According to the Denver Post, the southpaw is currently awaiting an offer from the Rockies, though he will likely wait until he can gauge interest from other teams until he makes a decision.

The Lilly deal, contrary to what Jon Heyman says, looks like an overpay to me. Lilly will be 35 on Opening Day and the deal runs through his age-37 season. The decline risk, plus the fact that Lilly might not even be good enough to justify his salary in the first year of the contract, makes me extremely wary (and glad the Dodgers gave this contract out). RJ Anderson of Fangraphs agrees with me and uses some math to back his reasoning up. It's quite possible that LA was simply blinded by Lilly's performance in a small sample size as a Dodger.

Which brings me to De La Rosa. Lilly has much more of a track record than JDLR of MLB success (four seasons of 3+ WAR and very few injuries), but he's five years older and arguably has a lower ceiling over the next three years. We'll see if De La Rosa's lack of a track record and perceived risk drop him into the Rockies' price range (which appears to max out at around 3/24, close to what they paid Huston Street). I'd be willing to go up to 3/27 for JDLR, but the Lilly contract makes me wonder if even that will get it done for Jorge. I wouldn't count on it.

The DP article mentions that the Rockies will likely need to make a quick move if they want to retain Melvin Mora, that they will monitor Jason Giambi's situation, and that Tulowitzki is finally sans-mullet. Finally.

Ian Stewart Shows Ambition

In an article by Thomas Harding, the Rockies' third baseman announced that next year he wants to rise to the level of Tulo and CarGo, where his name in the lineup is written in stone. With new hitting coach Carney Lansford, Stewart will focus on improving against left-handed pitching (and requests to be given the opportunity to face them) and avoid falling behind 0-2 so many times.

It's good to see that Stewart wants to improve, but ultimately he's got to be the change he wants to see. If Stewart does alter his approach at the plate successfully, Colorado will have a third cost-controlled force in their lineup through their championship window.

Other News

EY2 is going to see EY1 quite a bit next year, as the Rockies' inaugural second baseman was named as the Diamondbacks' first base coach yesterday. My hope is that he sends Arizona runners against CarGo's arm all season long.

Mark Kiszla does his job, I guess, comparing Carmelo to Tulo (you know, in that neither will stay in Colorado his entire career). Personally, I see the Rockies ponying up for Tulowitzki just as they gave money to Todd Helton, with the shortstop staying a Rockie his entire career. In any case, Kiszla is seriously getting ahead of himself because Tulo is signed through 2014 (though he does recognize Colorado's championship window runs through that point).

Steve Foster of Inside the Rockies writes about the performance of Rockies prospects so far in the Arizona Fall League. It's important to note that actual numbers in the league matter much less than how the players look while performing. Rex Brothers is a primary example of this: he's got a 3.00 WHIP and a 13.50 ERA, but he's received the most praise from scouts on his AFL work (namely, his velocity and movement).

Finally, our own WolfMarauder reports (through Project LIBRA) that Paul Phillips and Juan Rincon have declared minor league free agency and very well could be in other organizations soon. If that is the case, I'd like to thank those gentlemen for their services as a Rockie.