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Grading The Deals: Rockies Solidify Core
Douglas Benton. 1st December, 2010 - 5:31 am

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Grading The Deals: Rockies Solidify Core

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The Colorado Rockies reached the World Series in 2007 and have become a team to watch in the fluid National League West. They went about making a permanent stay at the top of the division by locking up Troy Tulowitzki for the rest of the decade and re-signing Jorge De La Rosa.

Tulowitzki signs big extension

Already under contract with the Rockies through 2014, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will now remain with Colorado into the next decade after signing a seven year, $157.75 million extension. The move clearly puts Tulowitzki as the face of the franchise in what has been a pretty seamless transition from the Todd Helton era.

He may be the new standard bearer at the shortstop position, coming off a year in which he won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove at the position. He has a career OPS of .857 and had a career best mark of .949 in 2010. He also has shown good power from a middle infield spot with at least 24 home runs in three of the last four seasons.

Tulowitzki is just entering his prime and has a chance to be a MVP candidate for much of his contract years. Long term contracts such as this rarely end well for the club involved and could put a financial strain on the Rockies with Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez due for extensions. However, if you are going to give this kind of commitment to a player, Tulowitzki is unquestionably one of the safest options out there.

Grade for Rockies: A

De La Rosa re-signs

Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa has re-signed with the Rockies for two years at $21 million. He has an $11 million player option for 2013 and the Rockies then have a team option for $11 million for 2014.

De La Rosa is coming off of an injury plagued season in which he made 20 starts (121.2 IP) and went 8-7 with a 4.22 ERA. During his career, he has surpassed 30 starts in a year just once in 2009 and has never pitched more than 185 innings in a season.

He has been a solid major league pitcher who has shown success in the Coors Field atmosphere and is needed to help fill out the rotation behind bona fide ace Jimenez. At 29, he is likely a No. 3 starter at this point. His stuff is solid and has tallied at least eight strikeouts per nine innings in each of the last three years, but still puts far too many runners on base. Is that worth $10 million a year?

You can?t argue about locking up a pitcher for a reasonable two to three years after showing he can handle Coors Field, but the money is a bit high for his past production and potential numbers. This is an important signing for Colorado though as it helps build a pitching staff to help support the offense.

Grade for Rockies: B