Nationals first miss out on Javier Vasquez, Now Jorge De La Rosa

According to Troy Renk of the Denver Post, the Colorado Rockies have re-signed free-agent pitcher Jorge De La Rosa to a three-year deal worth $32 million. According to Renk, the deal includes a fourth year club option at $11 million.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals were the only other team that had an actual offer on the table for De La Rosa:

The Nationals‘ pursuit of De La Rosa was complicated by their efforts to sign hitters, most notably free-agent first baseman Carlos Pena. The Orioles, too, were working on parallel tracks for hitters.”

De La Rosa, 29, is coming off a season where he went 8-7 with a 4.22 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 121 inning this season with the Colorado Rockies. While numbers like those don’t exactly have many ecstatic about the left-hander, some believe that his numbers were inflated by not only the poor climate conditions in Colorado, but the poor defense. In the past two seasons De La Rosa has posted a 3.76 and a 3.77 xFIP, a stat used to gauge a pitchers ERA while adjusting for his teams ballpark and defense.

The Nationals were hoping that they could benefit from his plus slider and top of the line change up. In the end however De La Rosa decided to return to what he knew, the coaches and teammates in Colorado. It was a busy day for the Rockies, who also resigned shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a 10 year, $157.75 million contract extension.

De La Rosa’s signing, as well as the Marlins signing this weekend of Javier Vazquez, leave the Nationals on the outside looking in when it comes to the top free-agent pitchers. Still left is the pipe-dream of Cliff Lee, as well as Carl Pavano, Brandon Webb, Eric Bedard, and Rich Harden, three of which have terrible injury history. Another option that remains is acquiring Zack Greinke via trade.