The Oakland A's have no shortage of left-handed relief options right now. The A's added another southpaw to their bullpen mix on Thursday, acquiring Eury de la Rosa from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations. de la Rosa was designated for assignment by Arizona on December 12 when the D-Backs acquired Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa (no relation) from the Boston Red Sox.
To make room for de la Rosa on the A's roster, Oakland designated right-hander Fernando Rodriguez for assignment. Rodriguez is out of options going into next season. Jorge De Leon, who was designated for assignment on December 9th, was released by the A's on Thursday, as well.
The acquisition of de la Rosa gives the A's plenty of left-handed relief depth in their bullpen. Closer Sean Doolittle is left-handed, of course, and the A's also have set-up men Eric O'Flaherty and Fernando Abad. Southpaws Drew Pomeranz and Sean Nolin could also be in the A's bullpen mix if they don't earn spots in Oakland's rotation out of spring training.
de la Rosa signed with the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur free agent in 2008. The diminutive left-hander rose steadily through the D-Backs' system. He reached Double-A by 2012 and Triple-A the following season. de la Rosa has a career 2.90 ERA in 332 minor league innings. He has struck-out 350, walked 116 and has allowed just 22 homeruns. Last season, de la Rosa had a 2.52 ERA in 39.1 innings for Triple-A Reno. He struck-out 36 and walked 20. Lefties hit .150 against de la Rosa in Triple-A. de la Rosa had similar numbers in 36.2 innings with the D-Backs. He had a 2.95 ERA and a 32:14 K:BB in 2014 at the major-league level. de la Rosa threw 14.2 innings for Arizona in 2013. In his limited major-league experience, de la Rosa actually has had more success versus righties than lefties.
de la Rosa's fastball sits in the high-80s, occasionally touching 91. His best pitch is his slider, which he uses with frequency against both righties and lefties. He also uses his curveball regularly and he throws an occasional change-up.
Rodriguez was acquired by the A's along with Jed Lowrie before the 2013 season from the Houston Astros. The right-hander hurt his elbow that spring and missed the entire season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He had a relatively quick rehab and was able to pitch the entire 2014 season, mostly in Triple-A. Rodriguez pitched well despite his recent surgery. He had a 1.97 ERA in 45.2 Triple-A innings with a 53:16 K:BB ratio. That didn't earn him much time with the A's, however. He made only seven appearances, allowing one run in nine innings. Rodriguez struck-out four and walked two in those nine innings.
de la Rosa was added to the Arizona 40-man roster before the 2013 season, so he has an option year remaining in 2015. Rodriguez used his final option year last season and is out-of-options. That could have been a significant factor in the A's decision to acquire de la Rosa and DFA Rodriguez. Right-hander Evan Scribner is also out-of-options, so the A's add some flexibility by bringing in de la Rosa.
De Leon is now a free agent after an off-season that has seen him designated for assignment twice. The former Houston Astros' reliever should generate some interest on the market thanks to his mid-90s fastball.