Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The Rockies are not going to trade SS Troy Tulowitzki this season, a good friend who works with the Rockies predicted when I talked to him earlier this week. Instead, despite how they’ve handled him in the past, Colorado will seriously consider moving him for three or four, top major-league prospects this winter.
Tulowitzki currently leads the National League in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage, he’s third in home runs and tops in Wins Above Replacement.
However, earlier this week, he was put on the disabled list with a hip flexor strain, which he suffered running out a ground ball the previous weekend. It’s a small injury, but it comes on the heels of him missing roughly 30 percent of all games due to some sort of injury since 2010. Also, he has not played more than 130 games in a season since 2011, he’s 29-years-old and has six years and $118 million remaining on his current contract after this season.
“The contract makes (trading him) an impossible situation,” a non-New York GM told columnist John Harper (Daily News, July 23). “If you’re the Rockies, he’s your franchise player having a great year, so you can’t just dump the contract. If you’re going to trade him to start a rebuild, you need a package of high-end prospects to justify it to your fans. But if you’re on the other side, you can’t justify taking on that contract AND emptying the farm system for a shortstop with a history of leg injuries. Because, you know, as he heads into his 30s those leg injuries are likely to happen more often.”
The Mets are going to check in on him, if they haven’t already, I’ve heard. In addition, I talked to a National League scout last week who believes the Mets have more than enough pitching prospects, along with one of their young catchers, to acquire a player like Tulowitzki, especially if they’re taking on his contract. For what it’s worth, he said the Yankees will never be able to meet Colorado’s asking price…
I still think Tulowitzki is Alderson’s White Whale and I’ve heard from friends in Colorado that something like Jon Niese, Travis d’Arnaud and a top pitching prospect could get it done, because it brings back proven players that can be marketed and help win now.
That said, my bet is Tulowitzki — again — doesn’t get dealt in the next 18 months. Why? It’s looking the Rockies may soon bring in a totally new front office and I can’t imagine a new regime dealing its most popular player as its first move. This, plus the contract, plus in the injuries, says to me that he’s more likely to get dealt after next season.