PITTSBURGH -- Rockies owner Dick Monfort removed doubt that left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will be back with the club next year Friday, when he said the team will exercise its club option on De La Rosa worth $11 million.
De La Rosa is a rarity: a pitcher whose career took off and didn't tail off while pitching home games at Coors Field. He is 49-33 with a 4.22 ERA in 116 games (110 starts) in purple and black. He also embraces the challenge of pitching at altitude. The money is affordable for many high-paying franchises, and he could bring prospects in a trade, but the Rockies have not made him available.
"If you do try to replace him, it just screws up the next guy because you bring him up too early," Monfort said.
Monfort also said the Rockies will determine whether to pick up the options of two veteran relievers. There are mutual options worth $4.25 million for closer Rafael Betancourt and righty setup man Matt Belisle. The bullpen has stepped up this year the two times Betancourt, usually healthy, went on the disabled list -- first for a right groin injury and currently because of an appendectomy.
Two priorities for next season are shoring up the bullpen and finding a productive right-handed hitter to play first base or right field. Michael Cuddyer can play both positions.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.