The Colorado Rockies have lost seven straight games. After a hot start to the season, they are now 11.5 games out of first place in the National League West.
With that fall from grace and a roster that is littered with injuries up and down, the Rockies face the cold hard reality of being sellers at next month’s trade deadline. And unexpected though this bit of news might be for fans not familiar with the team’s roster, their biggest trade chip might be a starting pitcher.
Yes, the Colorado Rockies, owners of one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball, might be able to get something in exchange for a pitcher at next month’s deadline.
Buster Olney of ESPN writes that left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa is shaping up to be a nice bargain for teams that miss on the big trade targets like David Price and Jeff Samardzija (subscription required). He notes that De La Rosa could be a trade target on the level of Jason Hammel or Ian Kennedy.
In 15 starts this season De La Rosa has a 6-6 record and a 4.75 ERA. Underwhelming though those numbers might strike contending teams, the guy won 16 games last season and has been the rare pitcher to consistently pitch well at altitude. He has the goods to help a team in a playoff race.
The Rockies might not be able to afford De La Rosa this off-season when he hits free agency. They could issue him a dreaded qualifying offer, but they might like the idea of trading him in a seller’s market this summer rather than dealing with the situation during the off-season. As the buyers line up their offers for starting pitching upgrades, the Rockies might be a team to watch.