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Pirates Hot Stove: Bucs Interested In Jorge De La Rosa

This winter could be a relatively busy one for the Pirates, as they have clear issues they need to address (defense, pitching) and apparently some money with which to address them - they've already been linked to top players like Adrian Beltre. Rob Biertempfel of the Trib tweets that the Pirates have zoned in another such player, Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa.

This is a tricky piece of news for a number of reasons, many of which I've already outlined here. It would feel like a huge victory for Pirates fans if the team signed a player like De La Rosa, but a number of teams, including the Yankees, have already expressed interest, and the pitching market has largely been set by Ted Lilly, who received $33 million from the Dodgers over three years and is roughly similar in value to De La Rosa. Also, if the Pirates don't improve their defense, De La Rosa could easily end up being a big-ticket bust - one of the key reasons Pirates pitchers can't seem to post good ERAs is that their fielders have done such a horrible job. And on top of all that, De La Rosa would likely cost the Pirates their second-round pick in next year's draft, since he's a Type A free agent.

De La Rosa is good enough that I'd still be interested in signing him, but only in the context of a serious plan to improve the team. They can't just sign De La Rosa and hit the golf course. They would have to make significant moves to upgrade their defense as well, in order to give De La Rosa the best possible chance of success.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.