News broke Thursday morning that Troy Tulowitzki is about to ask for a trade from the Colorado Rockies. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the shortstop is close to talking to ownership about a potential move . Tulowitzki is reportedly frustrated with the ownership, and Sherman even used the word miserable when describing Tulowitzki’s feelings. Sherman also indicates the San Diego Padres are on a short list of possible trade partners. It remains to be seen if the two teams are really discussing a deal.
Wow, could you imagine Tulowitzki in a Padres uniform? That would be amazing, would it not? However, hold up. Troy Tulowitzki has some very key negatives that need to be addressed. First off and probably most importantly is his health. The man of recent, just hasn’t been able to stay on the baseball diamond. He plays the game hard and I respect that. The trips to the disabled list are troubling for a prospective team looking to acquire his services.
Add to the fact Tulowitzki at the age of 30 is scheduled to make $118 million for the next six seasons. His contract runs through the 2020 season. That is a lot of money to pay for one player. He is well worth the money, but again the health comes into question. You cannot pay that kind of salary to someone who only plays a fraction of the games. Also factor in Justin Upton‘s impending free agency. If the Padres were to take on Tulo’s salary, they would surely be hard pressed to sign Upton too. Wouldn’t they? I think most Padres fans would rather keep Upton than pay Tulowitzki that kind of salary. Justin Upton hardly misses a game and is three years younger than Tulowitzki.
Another determining factor is Tulowitzki is a power hitting right hander. Throw him into the middle of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks and you have a heavily right-handed offense that strikes out WAY too much. That kind of recipe will lead to some offensive firepower, but will also get taken apart by quality right handed pitchers. I know that A.J. Preller loves right handed power, but the team needs a quality left-handed bat in the middle of the order to compete seriously at a World Series title.
Another factor is Tulowitzki’s inflated numbers will surely decrease outside of Colorado. He is on the wrong side of 30 and has only played in 140 plus games three times in his career. Those seasons were when Tulowitzki was 22, 24 and 26. You could argue that playing in Colorado with its high altitude limits the amount of time Tulowitzki plays. He would surely be able to bounce back from nagging injuries while playing closer to sea level. That could help as the slugger approaches his mid 30’s and time takes it toll on his body. The California sun could do wonders for him.
When a franchise has the opportunity to land a player of Tulowitzki’s ilk you have to sit down and think about the possibilities. Especially when there is a glaring need for a short stop on your team. However could you imagine the price tag on Tulowitzki? The Rockies would surely want pitching, as the team is always in the need for quality starters. Would the Padres consider moving Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross for Tulo? The Padres have no top-tier prized pitcher in their minor league system. Matt Wisler is in Atlanta now pitching for the Braves. He was the last quality minor league starter the San Diego Padres had in their farm system.
If the Rockies were to entertain an offer for Tulowitzki it would be for pitching and prospects. By moving Tulowitzki the team would automatically be throwing in the towel for the 2015 season. Rockies fans would demand quality prospects in return and Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges are the Padres best prospects. That brings me to the next issue. The two teams are division rivals.
If the Padres were to move three or four prospects to the Rockies for Tulowitzki, the chances that said prospects punish the Padres for seasons on end, is viable. I can just see it now, the Padres move Renfroe and Hedges to the Rockies and each goes on to be an all-star for years. That would be a horrible scenario, but possible. That is why teams don’t traditionally deal with in their division. Especially when it comes to prospects. The same could be said for the Rockies. If they deal Tulo to the Padres, the fans would go insane seeing him in a rivals uniform hurting their beloved Rockies.
Taking on Tulowitzki’s $118 million dollar contract does not automatically mean the Padres cannot sign Justin Upton to a long-term contract. It does however make that likelihood less of a possibility. The team has a lot of payroll coming off the boos for next season. The payroll is set to be at about $65-75 million for next season, and the money is not a major issue for the San Diego Padres in the future. They are other pressing concerns.
In my opinion the heavily right handed lineup and Tulowitzki’s injury concerns are the major factors to a potential deal. The inter division trade will also be tricky as the Padres are not loaded with prospects. Especially pitching prospects, like the Rockies surely value most. Troy Tulowitzki would bring a clubhouse leader to the team. He is well-known for the intangibles he brings to the game besides his statistics. He is a leader and a coach on the field and makes me wonder how he would mix with a Padres team already trying to find an identity.
The teams just do not seem like a great match in my eyes. A.J. Preller is sure to check out the asking price on Tulo, but the team will not overpay for his services. If the Rockies were really series about dealing him, you would have to think the Padres would fall short in terms of prospects needed. Never, ever put anything past A.J. Preller, as he could be up to anything. Stay tuned Padres fans, a trade is coming and I suspect a flurry of trades.