Rockies Sign Tulowitzki To Six-Year Extension

Troy Tulowitzki is officially the face of the Rockies. This afternoon the team announced a six-year extension that will keep the shortstop in Denver through 2020 and pay him $119MM. Tulowitzki will be guaranteed $157.75MM between now and 2020, when he will be approaching his 36th birthday.

Tulowitzki is midway through the six-year, $31MM extension he signed before the 2008 season. He'll earn $38.75MM through 2014 on that deal once the Rockies exercise his 2014 option for $15MM. He'll also earn $119MM for the 2015-2020 seasons.

Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and Tulowitzki's representatives at TWC Sports agreed to a multiyear deal with another Rockie, Jorge de la Rosa

Tulowitzki won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2010, finishing fifth in MVP voting for the second consecutive season. The 26-year-old also made his first All-Star team and, even though he missed a month with a left wrist fracture, finished the season with fantastic numbers. He posted a .315/.381/.568 line and hit 27 homers in 529 plate appearances.

Tulo's deal will become one of the most lucrative contracts in Rockies franchise history. Todd Helton ($141.5MM over nine years, 2001) and Mike Hampton ($121MM over eight years, 2000) also signed nine-figure deals with the Rockies.  Back in March, O'Dowd compared Tulowitzki to Derek Jeter in a conversation with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.  Interestingly, the Rockies are locking up Tulo at the same time the Yankees' negotiations with Jeter have become surprisingly contentious.

ESPN.com's Keith Law first reported that the sides were nearing a deal, ESPN.com's Buster Olney confirmed that the sides were closing in on a deal and added detail. Jon Heyman of SI.com, Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Troy Renck of the Denver Post and Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports also reported on the story via Twitter.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


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48 Comments on "Rockies Sign Tulowitzki To Six-Year Extension"


04Forever
4 years 9 months ago

Derek Jeter is going to be pissed at this!

Ethanator99
4 years 9 months ago

Alright Reds time to get Votto and Bruce locked upppp

04Forever
4 years 9 months ago

In all seriousness though, awesome signing for Colorado in getting a really good superstar signed for good money til 2020. Hes an awesome player.

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 9 months ago

I just don’t see the need to do this now.

4 years 9 months ago

So much unnecessary risk here… Unless there’s dramatic salary inflation, there’s not much reason to believe the Rockies are getting a big discount on those last six years. The risk here is definitely greater than the benefit they would get if they’re right about the salary inflation. They would have been better off leaving Troy’s contract as it was and trying to work out a similar extension one for Carlos Gonzalez.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

What’s not to get? The Rockies retain one of their best players for 10 years. That’s the whole point.

BobbyJohn
4 years 9 months ago

The whole point is that they could have waited at least another couple of years before pulling the trigger on such a deal. There’s at least a light chance that he will regress over time instead of improve, just like Helton did. At that point he becomes untradeable as well as a salary hog on a team that cannot afford one.

Deals of this length rarely break in the team’s favor. Almost never, in fact.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

And if he continued to play very good defense and OPS .900+ he’d command even more. At the current level he’s at, what he’ll be making is about right. If he manages to stay healthy in the future, it’s a bargain.

Remember, he’s not even in prime years yet.

4 years 9 months ago

That’s exactly the debate. Either he gets even better, and this deal looks good for the Rockies, or he regresses, in which case Tulo got a great deal and the contract hurts the Rockies’ franchise. Looking back at other deals of this magnitude, it rarely works in the teams’ favor. And Tulo still had a few years left on his original contract; the Rockies could’ve waited a year or two and taken the risk that he’d get better and they’d have to pay him more. That risk seems like the better risk to take than paying him 6/120 now and hoping he doesn’t get worse.

BobbyJohn
4 years 9 months ago

Even if he stays exactly the same, do you think at 30 years of age he would get $20 million per year for 6 years?

Really?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

Yes. Why? He plays extremely above-average defense at a premiere position where high-level offense is rare, and he has the chance to improve even further. By the time he would reach 30, he may have proved himself to be elite. I don’t see how people are so blind to that. Is it risky? Sure, but all contracts are.

I’m not big on the length of the extension, but I can see why they did it, and why they did it now.

4 years 9 months ago

No. He’d probably get paid more than that if his production is the same.

The difference between Jeter being overpaid and Tulowitzki is, generally speaking, due to Jeter’s below-average defense. If he would have truly been an above-average defender instead of simply being known as one, his contract wouldn’t have been disproportionately bad in most if not all years, with 2010 being the only real exception (even above average defense wouldn’t have saved him this season). There’s also the disparity of what $20MM is worth in 2005 vs. 2015 (a significant difference).

I also think people don’t realize how rare a .900 OPS for a SS was prior to the steroid era. If you look at the past, Ernie Banks was the only one to pull it off regularly in the 50s, no one did it regularly in the 60s, and no one did it at all during the 70s. In the 80s, you’re looking at Ripken, Yount, and Trammell, and entering the steroid era are guys like Barry Larkin.

That’s really about it…after that, you start running into some questionable characters. In the past 10 years, it’s only been done by Jeter, HRam, Tulo, Carlos Guillen and Nomar. I hope Rich Aurilia fans can forgive me for not including his name in this group.

-C

jjs91
4 years 9 months ago

That’s a pretty big if. jeter got a very similiar contract at the same age played hof style baseball and people are still saying he was overpaid so yes there is a debate to be made.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

You can’t really pick one person out of a Yankees team and say he was overpaid though, even with Jeter being a future HOFer.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

You can’t really pick one person out of a Yankees team and say he was overpaid though, even with Jeter being a future HOFer.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

What’s not to get? The Rockies retain one of their best players for 10 years. That’s the whole point.

4 years 9 months ago

Both are perennial MVP-caliber players, but the disparity between a league-average shortstop and Tulowitzki is absolutely huge, while the disparity between a league-average outfielder and Gonzalez is significant but not nearly as great (CarGo fits in just about anywhere out there, so designating a spot doesn’t help much).

I don’t think it’s unfathomable to believe that Tulo, if healthy for the duration of his previous contract, would have made $25MM or more in free agency after 2014.

The Rockies won’t have to deal with speculation that the Yankees will be shelling out $25+MM/year to get him, which would have likely begun sometime in 2012. They don’t have to worry about settling for two draft picks if that money lured Tulo away.

Of course there are injury concerns, but most of his injuries have come as a result of freak incidents (broken bat slicing hand, pitch breaking his wrist), and aren’t likely to hinder him in the future.

It’s a big risk, but it comes with a significant reward as well.

-C

4 years 9 months ago

I wonder what would’ve happened if he hadn’t hit those 15 HR’s in September..would he have got this contract? That one month changed his entire season and quite possibly his career as well.

4 years 9 months ago

Makes total sense. What else would a franchise do after narrowly escaping two horrible $100 million+ extra-long deals do besides give out $160 mil to extend a guy with injury problems who you already had signed through 2015?

BobbyJohn
4 years 9 months ago

I love Tulo but I hate this deal, particularly from a timing standpoint. He was already under contract thru the end of 2014 so they basically handed a 30 year old shortstop $20 million per year for six years.

Unless the team payroll goes up pretty dramatically then there isn’t going to be a lot left to surround him with additional talent.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

Nice. Tulo is a really great player and I hope that he can continue to produce throughout this contract.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

Nice. Tulo is a really great player and I hope that he can continue to produce throughout this contract.

soxin10
4 years 9 months ago

I realize Tulo is the face of the Rockies, but seriously? You already have him locked up through 2014. The Rockies were swallowing hard last few years of the Helton contact and had to renegotiate and are now paying him through like 2023. Hampton pretty much went on disabled list vacation since he signed, why the rush?

soxin10
4 years 9 months ago

I realize Tulo is the face of the Rockies, but seriously? You already have him locked up through 2014. The Rockies were swallowing hard last few years of the Helton contact and had to renegotiate and are now paying him through like 2023. Hampton pretty much went on disabled list vacation since he signed, why the rush?

monroe_says
4 years 9 months ago

There are bad contracts and there are bad contracts on the day they’re signed. This monstrosity is the latter. The benefits of this deal come nowhere near covering the risk.

4 years 9 months ago

Apparently, I am of the minority that think this actually makes a lot of sense for both parties. Nice work Rockies’ locking up one of the most valuable players in all of baseball. They have him for all of the peak years of his career, and for a reasonable price. There is always injury concerns, but that is why teams insure their big contracts. The real concern is whether he regresses…all signs point to no. I love ricky romero, but I wish the Jays had taken Tulo.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

I’m getting the distinct impression that a few people who don’t like the deal were hoping their team would land him one day.

Tulo > Romero at this point.

BobbyJohn
4 years 9 months ago

I’m not one of those “hoping” to land Tulo since he already plays for my team.

I’m also not opposed to the Rockies paying large sums of money to guys who have established themselves among the best in the game, which I believe he has.

But I *do* take issue with doing this right now in this fashion, because if he does happen to take a step backwards in his on-field ability then this becomes Helton II and that contract has hindered this organization’s ability to field a more competitive team than it otherwise could have.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

Helton’s contract wasn’t as easy to swallow for me because he only plays 1B. He plays it well, but 1B defense is overrated at times. Almost any MLB player can do it, except for Dunn.

BobbyJohn
4 years 9 months ago

I think that defense at 1B is probably underrated, to be honest. How many errors are saved for other infielders by throws being picked out of the dirt or a 1B coming off the bag to snag a throw and then making a tag to get an out?

My guess is that most of the guys who have played the infield with Helton the last ten years will credit him with aiding their fielding percentages.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 9 months ago

Helton’s contract wasn’t as easy to swallow for me because he only plays 1B. He plays it well, but 1B defense is overrated at times. Almost any MLB player can do it, except for Dunn.

4 years 9 months ago

Uh, guys. This is a good thing. Tulo is a good player. Good. Not bad.

Muggi
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t think anyone is disputing that…the dislike for the contract is regarding the length and the timing. Yes he’s entering his prime and the first 2-3yrs of the deal will probably be a bargain, but 20m for a 35yo SS (who has already had injury issues at 26) is a heck of a lot of money.It’s a gamble, but any contract this length is.

danthebaseballman
4 years 9 months ago

2020? Way too long!

ld303
4 years 9 months ago

I put this in the other thread, but at the bottom so it probably didn’t get read much so I’ll repost it here. To everyone questioning the timing of this: part of it probably has to do with the Rockies’ ownership group wanting to take advantage of how pissed the city is at the Broncos right now. This is the perfect time to grab some headlines and steal some fans (and their money) away from the Broncos who have long been Denver’s favorite team. Not saying that’s the only reason, but it’s probably one reason they did it now.

4 years 9 months ago

Before I get to my main thought: are there any CBA issues this is predicting for either side? When does the current agreement end, and is there any way that could be a factor? I have no idea- it was just a thought.The bigger thing for me is this: let’s say Tulo plays great through 2014 so that it looks like this is a bargain. If that happens, aren’t the Rockies just going to end up upping the contract more because when players play above the value of their contract that’s what always happens? If there is a bunch of salary inflation and 20 mil/year later is what 10 mil/year is now, won’t they end up upping the dollar amount then anyway? In that case, why not just wait and sign him to a free agent deal later?And if Tulo loves the Rockies so much that he’s willing to lock in with them for 10 years and be the face of the franchise, why not just wait even 1 or 2 more years and re-sign him then? It’s not like he is going to want to leave, right?Yup, I just don’t understand how this deal makes that much sense for the Rox, as great as Tulo is.AndrewP. S. It’s going to be real bad when they find out he’s juicing and they’re locked in for that long with him…jk.

woadude
4 years 9 months ago

Tulo was in Las vegas over the weekend and had a smile ear to ear, hope you had fun at our resort and hope to see you back again

woadude
4 years 9 months ago

This deal isnt that bad, it looks a lot better than Ryan Howard’s, this is a market setting signing and one Hanley will look to match when his contract is up in what 2 years?

jjs91
4 years 9 months ago

Most things look better than Howard’s contract