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De La Rosa returning to D-backs

Righty agrees to Minor League deal, will compete for bullpen role
MLB.com

The D-backs have decided to bring back Rubby De La Rosa for 2017, signing the right-handed pitcher to a Minor League deal after non-tendering him in December.

Arizona has hopes to convert De La Rosa from a starter to a reliever in an effort to limit his trips to the disabled list. The 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and missed most of the final four months of the 2016 season with more elbow troubles.

The D-backs have decided to bring back Rubby De La Rosa for 2017, signing the right-handed pitcher to a Minor League deal after non-tendering him in December.

Arizona has hopes to convert De La Rosa from a starter to a reliever in an effort to limit his trips to the disabled list. The 27-year-old native of the Dominican Republic underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and missed most of the final four months of the 2016 season with more elbow troubles.

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De La Rosa's uncertain future health-wise was a factor in the D-backs' decision not to tender him a contract, and the plan for him now is to compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training. De La Rosa would make $750,000 in 2017 if he makes the big league roster, with the opportunity to earn up to $3.5 million in performance incentives, according to a report from the Arizona Republic.

Heralded early in his career for his velocity and pitch arsenal, De La Rosa has struggled to live up to his potential through his first six Major League seasons. Since signing with Arizona prior to 2015, De La Rosa has gone 18-14 with a 4.59 ERA and 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Overall, the righty is 26-29 with a 4.48 ERA in 89 big league appearances, including 70 starts.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Rubby De La Rosa