Yankees Rumors: Jorge de la Rosa is the Backup Plan to Cliff Lee?

In an effort to improve their rotation the Yankees have targeted Cliff Lee as their priority free agent, but apparently if they can’t sign him they’ll turn to former Rockie Jorge de la Rosa. Wait what?

Via Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News:

The Yankees have targeted Cliff Lee as their top pitching priority on this winter’s free-agent market, but that doesn’t mean they’re not looking at backup plans.

According to a source, the Yankees have expressed interest in lefthander Jorge de la Rosa, considered by many to be one of the top free-agent pitchers available after Lee.

I don’t like this. The free agent market after Lee is pretty bare and it is possible that he could be the best of the bunch. But just because a player is the best of a bad pack doesn’t mean the Yankees need to sign him. The fact that he’s the best of a bad group almost certainly means whoever signs him is probably going to have to overpay for his services.

I didn’t even include him in my list of 10 pitchers the Yankees could sign if they failed to get Lee. The reason is because it’s just not realistic to expect a mediocre NL West pitcher to have success in the AL East. Just look at his career ERA of 5.02 and his career walk rate of 4.5. That would not work against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

His 2010 season wasn’t bad, his ERA was 4.22 and his ERA+ was 110, but he only threw 121.1 innings and has never thrown 200 innings in his career. A good second half shouldn’t be enough to land a contract with the Yankees. Especially when you consider that if he did manage to put together a full 200 inning season he would likely have at or around 100 walks.

If the Yankees are going to do this they might as well go with Ivan Nova or one of the Killer B’s (Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, or Manuel Banuelos). They might not be 100 percent ready for the big leagues yet, but they’re likely to be at least as good as De La Rosa.

I hope this is a joke. I really do. Even if they didn’t overpay for him, unlikely, he’s a liability in the AL East.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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8 Responses to Yankees Rumors: Jorge de la Rosa is the Backup Plan to Cliff Lee?

  1. Jaremy says:

    De La Rosa is actually pretty underrated, imo. He has good peripherals (consistently >8 K/9, FIP of 4.06, 3.91, 4.30 in last 3 years), and though he is in the NL West, he pitches half of his games at Coors Field (though that doesn't have a significant negaative impact on his splits). He's probably a 2 WAR witcher (2.4, 3.7, 1.7 last 3 years), which is good enough to make him a #3 pitcher on the staff with high upside. Better than what they got out of AJ.

    So if they paid him 8-10 mill, I don't think it's worth it. If they spend upwards of that, I don't like the move. A rotation of CC/Hughes/De La Rosa/Burnett/Pettitte (or another young Yankee arm/another mercenary arm) I can live with.

  2. What about that walk ratio?

  3. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I personally think this whole thing is a ruse to let the Cliff Lee camp think that the Yanks aren't as desperate for him as they are.

  4. The biggest problem for me is that he's almost definitely going to want a multi-year deal. I'm not cool with that. If he turns out to be a bust they're stuck with him. Could you imagine the next 3 years with him and Burnett in the rotation?

  5. smurfy says:

    Maybe you are right, Rob, but if the Yankee scouts like his stuff, 120 innings can mean 20 starts at 6 innings per, and if the Yanks get Andy to work relief (see below), it could work…

    • smurfy says:

      (or above), i could be a world beater, to assemble a collection of the best non-Ryan pitchers. Let him be the last cowboy. Long live the golden tones of (the reputed) Don Ho.

  6. Mike S. says:

    I don't like him at all. I get Andy back for another year, let the kids develop. Then in 2012 Andy can retire and go to a kid. Jorge de la Rosa? No way.

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