The Rockies Curious Moves: de la Rosa and Tulowitzki

Yesterday, the Colorado Rockies made two odd moves: one that I’m pretty sure is a bad deal, and one that is bold.

First, the Rockies agreed to a three-year, $32 million deal with Jorge de la Rosa. De la Rosa has pitched well for the Rockies, but he’s averaged under 150 innings per year for the last three years. If he pitches consistently as well as he has over 220 innings per season, then this might be a good deal—and maybe the Rockies think he can—however, I think that’s unlikely—his career high is 185 innings pitched (2009). I estimate his worth to be about $21 million over the next three seasons.

Second, the Rockies are supposedly nearing a deal with Troy Tulowitzki on a six-year extension for $119 million. While I’m normally a fan of locking up guys long-term while they are young, Tulowitzki’s new contract doesn’t kick in until 2015, and runs through 2020. A lot can happen between now and then, and the Rockies own his rights in the meantime, so it’s quite a gamble for the Rockies. Over the term of his contract, I estimate Tulowitzki to be worth $190 million, which makes $119 million sound like a cyber-Monday discount. But, given that so much can happen between now and then, I think it’s a large risk for the Rockies to take. Maybe they think that they can directly buy insurance, or diversify away much of the risk in a way that makes it a good gamble. Frankly, I’d love to know the motivation behind this deal, because it is so unique. It seems so crazy, I feel like they must be on to something.

2 Responses “The Rockies Curious Moves: de la Rosa and Tulowitzki”

  1. Marc Schneider says:

    I think it’s an example of teams valuing players because of their popularity with the fan base. They want to appear as if they are making a “commitment” to the fans. They will get a lot of good PR for this move, even though it might be a bad move in a strict economic sense.

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