Seven Places Troy Tulowitzki Will (or Won’t) Be Traded
Those were the big takeaways from an interview the All-Star shortstop, currently on the DL with a hip flexor, did with the Denver Post earlier this week.
Of course you’re not going to tell your hometown paper you want to be traded. Unless you’re some sort of maschists. And Tulowitzki‘s behavior over the last few weeks — including attending a Yankees game as a fan a couple weeks ago — suggests he would very much like to be somewhere else.
Additionaly, Tulowitzki is correct that something needs to change in Colorado since he should bring in quite a haul trading him is probably the best way to shake things up in mile high land.
The 29-year old is leading the NL in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging while playing a stellar shortstop. His contract, which calls for him to $20 million a year until 2019, and then drops down to $14 million for 2020, is perhaps the league’s most reasonable long-term deal. The only thing that keeps him from being the perfect player is his propensity to spend time on the DL.
If Tulo is dealt, here are the best and most likely landing spots.
Not ranked: New York Yankees
Tulowitzki caused quite a stir when he took in that Yankees game. (He was back east seeking a medical opinion on his hip flexor.) And obviously New York has a need for a shortstop, with future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter retiring this year. The problem is they just don’t have a lot of assets in the Bronx. None of their minor leaguers crack the top 50 on the prospect lists, and the big club isn’t exactly beaming with young talent. Maybe they can get something done with a package built on the somehow-still-underrated Brett Gardner, or maybe the Rockies have interest the paper mache arm of Michael Pineda. Overall, we’re just not seeing it.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
Incumbent shortstop Hanley Rameriz, a free agent-to-be, will be asking for a contract north of what is owed to Tulowitzki. The Dodgers would be wise to let him walk and then work out a trade for Tulo, who is the same age and superior in ever way. LA has three of the top prospects in the game in Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias. Two of them plus a second tier prospect — say Zach Lee – is a deal that benefits both teams.
4. New York Mets
The Mets also need a shortstop and, unlike the other Big Apple team, have young assets. They could put together a multi-prospect package headed with either Zack Wheeler, who’s already seen big league success, or fireballing righty Noah Syndergaard, who is one of the top prospects in the game. Not only do they get Tulo, but they do so at the expense of the Yankees, who have dominated the NYC baseball landscape for the past 20 years.
3. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are loaded with prospects — and that’s not even counting Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr, who are already entrenched on the big club. They also need to retool, as their 2013 World Series win is looking more like a fluke every day. Tulowitzki would be a great piece to start (quickly) building around, and they could deal for him and still have young talent left over.
2. Chicago Cubs
Their out-of-nowhere waiver claim of Cole Hamels suggests Epstein and company would be willing to add a big, relatively costly name to their rebuild. They have a fairly entrenched young shortstop in Starlin Castro and any deal with Colorado would depend on them either dealing him back or elsewhere. But if that works out, a package built around two of their big three infield prospects of Addison Russell and Kris Bryant and Javier Baez (who went off against the Rockies this MLB debut this week), probably gets them Tulo.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
There is something about Tulowitzki and his game that screams St. Louis. Trading for him would mean the Cardinals would have to move Johnny Peralta to third and then Matt Carpenter to first or the outfield. But that’s doable when the reward is Tulo at short. The Rockies would certainly require Oscar Taveras. If we were them we’d also want Trevor Rosenthal (to move to the rotation) and serviceable minor leaguer or two.
Darkhorse: Florida Marlins
While he doesn’t usually add salary, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has proved over the years he’s not dead set against it. The Marlins are shockingly still in the playoff race this year, and a 2015 roster which includes Giancarlo Stanton, Tulo and Jose Fernandez would absolutely be contenders. The likely cost would be Christian Yelich or Marcell Ozuna and then at least top prospect Andrew Heaney. But the two-year window it would give the team before Stanton hits free agency to poach another World Series would be priceless.