De La Rosa Latest
The Pirates are said to be willing to go three-to-four years to land top target Jorge De La Rosa but GM Neal Huntington has yet to tip his hand, according to an industry source.
The team has slowed down their pursuit are taking a patient approach, according to a source close to the situation. As of this evening, the Pirates have not made an offer.
The Orioles, Nationals, Rockies, Rangers and Yankees have also expressed some kind of interest in the 29 year old left hander. The Brewers were an early suitor but exited the mix during the GM meetings.
The Rockies reportedly won’t go beyond three years, while the Rangers and Yankees remain highly unlikely suitors as their efforts are on Cliff Lee. Neither team is engaged in negotiations with De La Rosa and even if one of them misses out on Lee, neither is expected to make a serious run at De La Rosa.
During the GM meetings in Orlando, De La Rosa’ agent Bobby Barad met with the Rockies, Pirates, Orioles and Nationals.
According to a source close to the situation, De La Rosa’s camp left Orlando with the expectation that Washington was prepared to begin talks on a multi-year deal, likely in the 4 year range and have been considered the early favorite.
However, the Nationals pursuit has not been aggressive of late as the Nationals are eyeing “bigger fish” on the free agent market and even the trade market. The Nationals are said to be on the fence about De La Rosa and the same for Baltimore who was considered a serious suitor.
The Pirates remain in prime contention to outbid others for De La Rosa, including the Rockies who won’t go beyond three years but Huntington & Co will have to step up to the plate, which is something they haven’t done just yet.
Pirates eyeing 7 starters to compete in spring training
If the Pirates meet their wishlist of adding two starting pitchers in free agency, 2006 1st round pick Brad Lincoln will face tough obstacles in making the opening day roster.
The Pirates intend to go into spring training with Paul Maholm, James McDonald and Ross Ohlendorf locked into three of the spots with Lincoln and Charlie Morton battling for one of the final spots.
Webb not an option
The Pirates have expressed interest in 31 year old starting pitcher Brandon Webb but the Pirates are not a serious suitor for Webb’s services. The former Cy young winner does not consider Pittsburgh an option, according to a source. Webb has reportedly drawn interest from 6-to-8 teams.
The Pirates remain a strong suitor to land Rockies lefty Jeff Francis who has emerged at the top of the Pirates wishlist.