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April 2, 2008 11:19 AM

Lefty could join Rockies

Everything is in place for the Rockies to add left-handed pitcher Jorge de la Rosa from the Kansas City Royals, but there's no hurry to get the deal done.

De la Rosa cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment with Kansas City, which clears the way for him to be shipped to the Rockies to complete the deal that sent right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Royals. The Rockies dealt Ramirez because he was out of options and wasn't going to make their roster and they knew they would lose him on waivers if they tried to send him to the minors.

They agreed to send him to the Royals for a player to be determined. De la Rosa was the Rockies' No. 1 target, but they wanted him to get through waivers and take the minor league assignment because they want him to pitch at Triple-A Colorado Springs. The agreement on Ramirez technically said the Rockies had until June 15 to finalize the deal and given de la Rosa's $1 million salary, the Rockies could wait

De la Rosa, who turns 27 on Saturday, is a lefty who has a fastball in the mid-90s, but he has been inconsistent with strikes. He was 8-12 with a 5.82 ERA as a starter for the Royals last year. He has a $1 million salary, and if the Rockies aren't ready to pick up all that salary they can wait until June 15, unless a need arises sooner.

SO WHAT'S the reason the Rockies payroll shows up as a different amount in different places?

For instance, the Rocky Mountain News salary calculations have the season-opening payroll at $70,449,682 with the insertion of Scott Podsednik ($750,000) instead of Cory Sullivan (at $1 million). USA Today, meanwhile, has the payroll listed at $68,655,500. Which one is right? Arguments can be made that they are both right.

In the annual Rocky calculation, the salary of a player includes his guaranteed salary for that season plus a pro-rated portion of both his signing bonus and buyout on an option year. That's the approach that was used in 1993 and the same one used today because it is a way to compare the payroll over the years. To change the method of calculation would make the comparison of payroll from one year to the next off base. It might be added that using the prorated signing bonus and buyout was chosen because that is how the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball determine their annual payroll charts.

In USA Today, the decision was made to use the players guaranteed salary and adding only signing bonuses that a player received this year.

What is consistent is that the Rockies wind up 20th in payroll this season, regardless of the approach used to calculate the salaries.

MEANWHILE IN St. Louis, the sun has actually come out, giving hope for Game 2 to be played without weather problems. The forecast, however, isn't pretty for Game 3 on Thursday afternoon. Word is 80 percent chance of showers both Thursday afternoon and evening.

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