The Dodgers have signed veteran hurler Rubby De La Rosa to a minor league deal, according to the MLB.com transaction log.
De La Rosa, 34 next month, has spent the past few seasons in Japan, and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2017. Last year, he tossed 38 1/3 innings of relief for Yomiuri in Japan, working to a 2.58 ERA. That was his fourth season with the team, and he’s been a highly effective reliever over that period, finishing with a combined 2.53 ERA over 124 1/3 innings.
This move marks something of a homecoming for De La Rosa, who signed with the Dodgers out of the Dominican Republic back in 2007. The right-hander was well regarded coming through the minors, and made Baseball America’s top-100 prospects prior to the 2011 season. After a promising rookie year (3.71 ERA over 60 2/3 innings), the Dodgers shipped him to the Red Sox as part of the deal for Chris Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett in 2012.
De La Rosa never did deliver on his promise, struggling in Boston after returning from Tommy John surgery before being traded to the Diamondbacks in 2014. He spent a couple of seasons in Arizona, but after working to a 4.59 ERA over 247 innings, De La Rosa required a second Tommy John surgery and the Diamondbacks let him go. They would re-sign him to a two-year minor league pact, but he’d never make it back to the majors.
De La Rosa’s starting days are probably behind him, but he’ll add a bit of minor league bullpen depth for the Dodgers. Even dating back to his big league days in the last decade he was long speculated as someone who could find a lot more success in the bullpen, and he certainly did in Japan, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in his first season back in the US since 2019.