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?
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.