The Colorado Rockies, a team that works within the confines of the dreaded “mid-market” designation, have two of their most veteran and well-paid players set to hit free agency at season’s end.
Those two players are outfielder Michael Cuddyer and starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. Both enter 2014 coming off strong seasons, as Cuddyer won the NL batting title in 2013 and De La Rosa won 16 games. Neither has signed an extension, though the Rockies explored that route briefly with De La Rosa.
That’s where the new and unpopular qualifying offer system comes into play. According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the Rockies are already discussing the option of extending such offers to both players:
hear rockies figuring theyll make qualifying offers to de la rosa & cuddyer. me: if so cuddyer could become 1st to take it
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 2, 2014
There is a mutual love affair between Cuddyer and the Rockies organization, so Heyman might be onto something about the qualifying offer not being so contentious if issued to the veteran. As for De La Rosa, if he is able to repeat his success from 2013 a qualifying offer likely means he is headed for the same frustrating free agent market that his starting pitching colleagues saw this past off-season, as potential suitors are reluctant to part with a draft pick.