© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
When Troy Tulowitzki came out of the game in the bottom of the 9th inning on Monday night in Chicago, the speculation had nothing to do with a potential trade. Everyone thought there may have been an injury. Instead, news rolled in that Tulo was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in what amounts to be a blockbuster deal.
For three years there has been speculation that Tulowitzki would be traded. He’s the highest paid player on a team that didn’t seem to have a direction. He had hinted that he wanted out despite denying that he would ever want that deal to be made. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network broke news on Twitter about the trade, then confirmed that the deal includes Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes, along with prospects that haven’t been made public yet.
The move will certainly be a surprise for the state of Colorado when they wake up on Tuesday morning after news broke at around 10:30 following the Rockies loss to the Chicago Cubs.
For many Rockies fans, the deal couldn’t have come sooner. Tulo made a habit of putting his foot in his mouth when talking about teammates. He often alienated himself from fans by seeming to be better than the Rockies and not winning and losing as a team.
However, other fans realized the talent that Tulowitzki possesses. While some would argue that the shortstop is a better hitter because of Coors Field, anyone who has watched the superstar regularly knows that his success has nothing to do with Coors Field, but everything to do with him being one of the best five players in the game.
The rumors have swirled for a long time, years even, but back in May things got really interesting. Joel Sherman of the New York Post broke news that Tulo was meeting with his agent, Paul Cohen, to discuss possibly asking for a trade. The news wasn’t met well by Rockies fans, and even Tulowitzki, who claimed that he wanted nothing to do with that type of discussion.
Regardless of the feelings about Tulowitzki, the day is a sad one for Rockies fans. It closes the chapter on the 2007 miracle run to the World Series, as Tulo was the final member of that team remaining in purple pinstripes. He was the face of the franchise and was supposed to be a part of the long-term success that so many were anticipating the Rockies to have. The fact that the Rockies haven’t tried to trade the shortstop in recent years suggests that they were holding on to the idea that eventually the team could win with their big name leader.
Instead, the move effectively closes the door on the era and marks it as a complete failure. It acknowledges how bad things were for the club and their fans since the end of the 2010 season. The failures in the draft and develop program that the Rockies have had have completely failed to bring solid prospects up to the big league level continuously enough to put together a contender, let alone a middle-of-the-road team.
In the clubhouse following the final game at Coors Field in Todd Helton’s illustrious career, Tulo threw a bucket of water on the celebration when he told the crowd of reporters gathered around that he wasn’t envious of Helton. He said that the tributes weren’t touching and that he wouldn’t want something like Helton had been celebrated with. He was trying to make the point that he would rather win, but it came across as a player who wasn’t appreciative of the support that he had received, and was even too selfish to simply let Helton have his day.
The Rockies move shows that Jeff Bridich isn’t a clone of Dan O’Dowd. Whether fans love or hate the move, it shows that Bridich isn’t afraid to make some bold moves. It might even show that he has earned the trust of Dick Monfort and convinced him that it was time to move the franchise in a different direction.
One thing is certain, a front office and ownership group has finally heard the cries of their fan base. The cries weren’t to trade their star player, but rather for their favorite baseball team to take their heads out of the sand and start to live in reality. That sad reality was that the club wasn’t just an injury-free season away from competing. The reality is, they are far from competing and in desperate need of major changes in order to become competitive.
The news still hasn’t come in on the entire package that the Rockies will get from Tulowitzki, but it is going to need to be a huge haul to make it worthwhile for the Rockies.
The trade will define who Jeff Bridich is as a general manager. He will forever be linked to the trade and what comes of it will forever be a cloud over his time in Colorado. It will either be a dark cloud that follows him, or one the provides shade on a hot sunny day.
For the Rockies, it is turning the page. It is embracing the rebuilding process and acknowledging that it will take more than a star shortstop and very little pitching in order to go to the playoffs and contend regularly.
The move is a sad one for fans of the Rockies. It is acknowledging that this team isn’t headed in the right direction. It is acknowledging that it is going to take a few more players than a superstar shortstop to win and contend.