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Troy Tulowitzki Rumors
After meeting with his agent today, Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has decided that he will not ask to be traded away from his struggling club. Tulowitzki told reporters, including MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, that “whatever happens on the Rockies’ end happens, but for me to sit here and try to force my way out of here, that’s not the case. I don’t think it’s fair to my teammates and the relationships I’ve built here to take that route.”
Tulowitzki has long been a key figure in trade rumors given how the Rockies are coming off four losing seasons and are currently in last place in the NL West with an 11-19 record. His meeting with agent Paul Cohen was therefore seen a significant step towards a possible departure from Colorado, though Tulowitzki noted that he didn’t tell Cohen to inform the New York Post about his dissatisfaction with the team’s lack of success. “If I have an issue I would take care of it myself. The last [thing] I would try to do is leak something and get it out there,” Tulowitzki said. “The Rockies’ ownership and myself have always been close, so there’s no reason to try to leak something. I’d go straight to them.”
Rather than ask for a deal, Tulowitzki put an onus on himself to perform better to help the team win. Tulowitzki is hitting .303/.310/.477 over 113 plate appearances this season and while his injury problems have certainly been a factor in the Rockies’ poor records, it’s hard to point the finger at the shortstop given that when he has been healthy, he’s been one of the better performers in the game.
It could be argued that even if Tulowitzki doesn’t officially ask to be dealt, the fact that he even considered doing so essentially acts as the same thing; in my opinion, it certainly doesn’t sound like Tulowitzki would disregard any trade that would send him to a contender. In not demanding a deal, Tulowitzki could actually pave a clearer road to a trade since it allows the Rockies to keep a bit of negotiating leverage with other teams.
Tulowitzki has approximately $109MM in guaranteed salary remaining on his contract through the 2020 season, plus a $4MM buyout of his $15MM club option for 2021 and an extra $2MM assignment bonus if he’s traded during the course of the deal. It’s a hefty price tag for a 30-year-old player with a significant injury history, though Tulowitzki has thus far been healthy in 2015, playing in all 30 of Colorado’s games.
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles has apparently escaped last night’s injury scare with nothing more than a significant bruise on his right hand, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweets. Lyles says he hopes to make his next start, though it is probably too soon to tell whether he’ll miss some action. The 24-year-old was struck on his throwing hand by an Albert Pujols comebacker last night, with the subsequent swelling leading many to fear that he may have suffered a fracture. Lyles and Eddie Butler have arguably been the Rockies’ most consistent starters this season.
More from the NL West…
- Hector Olivera is expected to arrive in Los Angeles tonight, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). The Cuban infielder will take his physical and, presuming all is well, his agreement with the Dodgers will finally be official.
- James Shields is delivering on the mound and in the clubhouse for the Padres, leading USA Today’s Bob Nightengale to wonder if the several teams who passed on Shields this winter are now second-guessing their decision.
- Wil Myers has tendinitis in his left wrist as the Padres hope that a few days of rest will help the outfielder avoid a DL stint, MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweets. Myers underwent surgery on his right wrist last year, though he was dealing with an existing left wrist injury at that time as well.
- Don Mattingly deserves credit for keeping the Dodgers in first place despite several key injuries and some underperforming stars, Joel Sherman of the New York Post opines. There have been rumors that the team’s new front office could bring in their own manager after the season is over or if the Dodgers struggled, yet Sherman feels Mattingly is staking his claim as a long-term answer in the dugout.
- Despite the growing buzz surrounding Troy Tulowitzki‘s name, a source tells the Record’s Matt Ehalt that the Mets haven’t changed their thoughts on acquiring the longtime star shortstop. Ehalt cites Tulowitzki’s injury history, the money remaining on his contract and a repeated unwillingness from the Mets to part with top-tier pitching prospects. Wilmer Flores, who homered today, has shown good pop but questionable on-base skills and defense in his first extended look at shortstop in the Majors.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports discussed the Rockies in his latest piece, writing that it’s “obvious to everyone” but Rockies owner Dick Monfort that the time to trade Tulowitzki has come. However, rather than look to begin moving pieces in the wake of a 10-game losing streak, the Rockies are still actively searching for starting pitching in hopes of improving the club. Rosenthal notes that the second wild card spot in each league can often act as “fool’s gold,” leading teams without legitimate hopes of contending to delay, or in some cases, refuse to sell off pieces with an eye toward the future.
Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles was forced to exit Wednesday evening’s start against the Angels after taking an Albert Pujols line drive off his pitching hand. Twitter reactions indicated that Lyles’ hand became visibly swollen in nearly instantaneous fashion (image via Vic Lombardi of CBS Denver on Twitter). Clearly, the struggling Rockies can ill afford to lose a reliable rotation arm such as Lyles for a significant amount of time. To date, the 24-year-old Lyles has a 4.30 ERA with a somewhat troublesome 21-to-17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings with the Rockies. He’s notched a characteristically strong 49.6 percent ground-ball rate as well. A serious injury would mark the second consecutive season in which a freak injury shelved Lyles, as last year he suffered a fracture in his non-throwing hand while covering home plate.
Here’s more on the Rockies and the rest of the division in what is an injury-tinted look at the NL West…
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post joined Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings of 104.3 The Fan in Denver (audio link) to discuss recent news in which Troy Tulowitzki‘s agent publicly mentioned that he and his client would consider requesting a trade. Saunders touches on the previous unwillingness of Rockies owner Dick Monfort to part with veteran players. Saunders offers a very candid take on his view of the state of the Rockies and how the team has handled Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in the past, specifically wondering if the latter of the two has much of any trade value left. (At present, it would seem to me that he has very little, due to the remaining three years on his contract, his injury history and lack of productivity to begin the season.)
- Josh Johnson‘s return from Tommy John surgery had recently been slowed by some soreness, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the oft-injured righty has resumed throwing. The Padres are optimistic that Johnson can soon begin a rehab assignment, Morosi adds. Johnson returned to the Padres on a one-year, $1MM contract this winter after missing the entire 2014 season due to a torn UCL.
- Via FOX Sports Arizona’s Jack Magruder (Twitter link), Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart said in a recent TV interview that the club is targeting a June 4 return for fallen ace Patrick Corbin, who, like Johnson, underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2014 season.
- Yasiel Puig has experienced a setback in his recovery from a strained hamstring and isn’t expected to join the Dodgers anytime soon, manager Don Mattingly told reporters, including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. An MRI taken Monday revealed that Puig’s hamstring strain has not yet healed, and Mattingly said that it would be “at least a couple weeks” that Puig will remain on the shelf. It seems fair to believe that Puig may be sidelined into June.
- In other Dodgers injury news, righty reliever Pedro Baez was forced to leave tonight’s game after he felt something in his right pectoral muscle, tweets the L.A. News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra. Baez is slated to undergo an MRI tomorrow. He’s been a highly useful member of the Dodgers’ bullpen, entering play Wednesday with a 1.88 ERA and a 19-to-3 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings.
- Giants right-hander Matt Cain threw his first bullpen session since his elbow surgery yesterday, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll have another session on Friday and will need three to four in total before moving onto facing liver hitters, Shea adds.
Veteran Ryan Doumit, who played last year for the Braves, “considers his playing career over,” according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The 34-year-old switch hitter logged 166 plate appearances last year in Atlanta, slashing just .197/.235/.318. He has had many more productive seasons in his decade in the big leagues, of course, and owns a lifetime .264/.324/.432 batting line. Doumit also spent significant time with the Pirates and Twins after being drafted in the second round of the 1999 amateur draft by Pittsburgh. While it appears that Doumit will not look to make a return to the bigs, the wording of the report suggests that he is not yet prepared to make an official retirement.
Here are some NL East Notes:
- The Marlins‘ interest in Rafael Soriano is tied closely to his cost, according to a Twitter report from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. As things stand, Miami is only willing to bite if it can add him “at a low price,” per the report. It is not terribly surprising to learn that the Fish are not prepared to break the bank at this stage for the veteran righty; as the initial reports of interest suggested, the club is looking at all options to deal with its late-inning relief woes.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he is not currently interested in adding a shortstop,Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. “Nothing has changed,” said Alderson of the team’s current daily deployment of Wilmer Flores. That is not terribly surprising given the timing, of course — to say nothing of the fact that Alderson would not be likely to broadcast any interest he did have — but should at least function to curb any immediate speculation about the possibility of a Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster.
8:35pm: Tulowitzki spoke with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post about Cohen’s comments stating that he hasn’t read them, but he routinely meets with his agent whenever he is in Los Angeles. Tulo did somewhat nebulously address the topic when asked what the future holds, however:
“I really don’t have a clue — honestly. I just know that I don’t want all of this hanging over my head every day I come to the ballpark. This game is hard enough as it is. … It’s a tough topic to talk about, but if it’s being thrown around there, it’s something I need to get addressed, because the last thing I want is to come to the field every day with that hanging over my head.”
6:21pm: With the Rockies mired in a nine-game losing streak, agent Paul Cohen, who represents Troy Tulowitzki, tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he and his client will meet on Thursday and discuss, among other issues, whether or not the star shortstop should request a trade.
Cohen tells Sherman that it would be “silly” to suggest that a trade isn’t a possibility, adding that he and Tulowitzki spent quite a bit of time discussing the scenario in the offseason. It’s not hard to see why Tulowitzki would entertain the idea of asking for a trade, given the team’s struggles, Cohen says, and he also sees value in acting early for the organization. From Sherman’s piece:
“It could get to the point for [owner] Dick Monfort and GM Jeff [Bridich] that the storyline every day with the team is when is Tulowitzki being traded,” Cohen said. “That is negative for the franchise as the idea of trading the face of the franchise. They are smart enough to recognize they don’t want that going forward.”
While there’s certainly logic behind Cohen’s reasoning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rockies aren’t yet ready to pursue a trade of Tulowitzki (Twitter link). The team would like to add some pitching, but their preference is a much lower cost of acquisition than dealing away the face of their franchise.
The frustration with Tulowitzki does seem palpable, however. Sherman said he spoke to two people that are close to Tulowitzki who said that he is frustrated with four losing seasons and wants out of Colorado. (Cohen declined to comment on his client’s mindset, per Sherman.) In the wake of the team’s latest loss on Sunday, Tulowitzki told Nick Groke of the Denver Post this weekend: “I’m sitting in my chair here and trying to think of one positive thing and there are not many. It’s tough, but what are you going to do?”
Sherman lists the Padres, Mets, Pirates and Mariners as speculative teams with needs at the shortstop position, adding that the Yankees remain unlikely to make a play for Tulowitzki. The Yankees, according to Sherman, are emphasizing defense and to limit long-term risk. Some scouts and officials to whom Sherman has spoken feel that Tulowitzki may not be long for shortstop given his age and history with injuries.
Tulowitzki, 30, is hitting .307/.317/.495 this season with a pair of homers but a troubling 23-to-2 K/BB ratio in 104 plate appearances. Owed $118MM from 2015-20, Tulowitzki’s contract also contains a $15MM club option for the 2021 season and provides him with a $2MM bonus and full no-trade protection in the event that he is traded. The four-time All-Star’s 2014 season ended prematurely when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Over the past five years, Tulowitzki has averaged just 106 games per season, though some of his injuries — including a broken hamate bone suffered when he was hit by a pitch — have been fluky in nature.
The Cubs aren’t concerned with Jon Lester‘s issues throwing to first base, writes the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo in his weekly Sunday Notes column. “I think it’s being a little overplayed right now, quite frankly,” said manager Joe Maddon to Cafardo. “…I’d much prefer he worries more about getting his fastball where he wants and his cutter where he wants and all the normal pitching things. … I don’t want to make this an issue, because it’s not for me at all.” Still, Cafardo notes, it is an issue that the Red Sox worked to correct for years with little success. The Cardinals exploited the issue in Lester’s first outing by swiping four bases against him, but as Cafardo notes, not every team will go that route. One AL scout told Cafardo: “I always included in my reports about the throwing, but our team chose not to do anything about it.”
Here’s more from Cafardo’s column…
- Newly minted Giants GM Bobby Evans tells Cafardo that he doesn’t envision his team pursuing another starting pitcher despite early injuries to Matt Cain and Jake Peavy. The Giants feel that Peavy, who avoided the DL and is slated to pitch today, is healthy. The team is also not anticipating that Cain’s elbow injury, which did require a trip to the 15-day DL, will be a major issue.
- Cody Ross was recently released by the D-Backs and signed with the A’s, and Cafardo looks back on Ross’ best season — his 2012 campaign with the Red Sox — and notes that Boston offered Ross a two-year deal to remain with the team. Ross, however, found a three-year, $26MM contract in Arizona. Injuries turned that deal into a bust for the Snakes, but Ross will hope to reestablish himself in green and gold.
- The Rockies will likely have plenty of suitors for Troy Tulowitzki this summer if they slide to the cellar of the NL West, but one AL GM tells Cafardo that it’s difficult to envision a trade: “There would be a lot of work to get that done. The money remaining on his salary [$110 million] and the player acquisition cost. Not as easy as it seems. The Rockies need to get a ton for him and I doubt they’ll pick up the money.”
- Earlier this week, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Tigers have been monitoring Rafael Soriano‘s workouts, and Cafardo hears the same, adding that it “wouldn’t be shocking” if Detroit pulled the trigger on a deal.
- Much like the Giants, the Twins have taken a hit to their rotation early in the year following Ervin Santana‘s suspension and Ricky Nolasco‘s injury, but after talking with their front office personnel, Cafardo gets the impression that they’ll give opportunities to young starters rather than pursue an established upgrade. Trevor May gets the first crack, but Cafardo lists Alex Meyer and Jose Berrios as other candidates.
- The Dodgers are still “all ears” about potential Andre Ethier trades and are willing to eat some of the $56MM on the three years remaining on his contract, but there have been no bites to this point.
Here’s the latest from around the NL West…
- While Carlos Gonzalez specifically stated that he wanted to stay with the Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki somewhat tellingly only said “I want to win here” when asked by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale if he wanted to stay with the club. The Rockies discussed Tulowitzki with a few teams this winter (including the Mets), a process that GM Jeff Bridich said the star shortstop was kept fully informed about, even though there wasn’t much to discuss. “We had conversations this winter, and Tulo has an understanding what we’re thinking….We talked to teams, but there really is nothing that came close to being done,” Bridich said.
- Justin Maxwell can opt out of his minor league deal with the Giants if he isn’t on the club’s Major League roster by Tuesday, March 31, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The 31-year-old Maxwell is battling for a reserve outfield job and said he hasn’t decided what his next step will be if he’s told he isn’t making the roster.
- While the Padres have come up short in high-profile pursuits of Yasmany Tomas, Hector Olivera and Yoan Moncada, that doesn’t mean the club hasn’t been busy on the international signing front. In a profile of Padres international scouting director Chris Kemp, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports that the team has signed 12 international players between the ages of 16-19 are close to deals with several others. Of particular note is right-hander Starlin Cordero, who is already throwing at 94 mph at age 16 and only two months after being converted to pitching from the outfield.
- Diamondbacks catching prospect Peter O’Brien has played back-to-back games in the outfield, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. O’Brien was having problems throwing the ball back to the mound in games earlier this month and he since hasn’t been back behind the plate. Dubbed as the D’Backs’ catcher of the future by GM Dave Stewart and others within the organization, many scouts have questions about O’Brien’s long-term future behind the plate (even aside from his throwing issue).
- In NL West news from earlier today, Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times discussed the Dodgers with Jeff Todd on the MLBTR Podcast…Jeff also asked MLBTR’s readers to rank the Dodgers‘ many notable offseason moves…I profiled Juan Uribe as a possible trade candidate…the Padres claimed righty Jandel Gustave off waivers from the Royals…the Mets are checking in on both the Rockies and Dodgers as part of their search for relief pitching help.
Former Nationals minor leaguer Justin Bloxom transitioned quickly from a stalled playing career to re-joining the organization as a scout, Chelsea James of the Washington Post writes. The eleventh-rounder was part of a productive 2009 draft for the team, which will now hope to extract value from him in a somewhat different manner.
- The Diamondbacks are comfortable with their budget sitting in the low-$90MM range, GM Dave Stewart tells MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Arizona is open to moving more salary but will not sacrifice on-field performance to do so, per Stewart. The most likely avenue to savings, says Gilbert, would be shedding some portion of the large tabs owed righty Trevor Cahill and outfielder Cody Ross.
- Rockies GM Jeff Bridich says that it is “highly, highly unlikely” that the team will make a deal involving either of the club’s two biggest stars (Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez), Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. That is no surprise, of course: there have always been multiple, significant barriers to a deal this offseason, and any earlier momentum seems to have died in recent weeks.
You can add the Marlins to the long list of teams interested in Yoan Moncada, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Fish are monitoring the Cuban phenom’s market. Frisaro raises the possibility that the Marlins could see the versatile Moncada as a long-term answer in center field if Marcell Ozuna gets expensive through his arbitration years. Given the bigger-spending teams also in the hunt for Moncada, however, Frisaro describes Miami as “probably a long shot” to sign him. Here’s some more from around the NL East…
- Frisaro also wonders if investing in Moncada makes more sense for the Marlins than signing James Shields. While the Fish are still interested in Shields, Frisaro flatly denies that the Marlins are in on Max Scherzer, saying “there is zero chance” of that happening.
- The Rangers have kept in contract with the Phillies about a trade for Cole Hamels, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports, but the biggest obstacle seems to be money. Texas wants the Phillies to cover some of the $96MM still owed on Hamels’ contract.
- The Phillies are “unrealistic in their expectations” in what they hope to receive in a Hamels trade, a source tells WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. As was reported earlier today, the Phillies have a firm price tag in mind for Hamels and are in no rush to deal the ace left-hander.
- The Braves are no longer candidates to sign Brandon Beachy, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). Atlanta non-tendered Beachy last month but were hopeful of reaching a new deal with the right-hander, who missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Beachy was reportedly considering between six offers from interested teams.
- When the Astros had some late concerns about Evan Gattis‘ back and knee, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link) that during those last few hours, the Braves re-opened talks with the Rangers. The details with Houston were worked out, of course, and Gattis is now an Astro.
- The Mets‘ refusal to include Noah Syndergaard as part of a rumored three-team deal was a good call, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post opines, even though the trade would’ve brought Ian Desmond to Citi Field. Dealing six years of control over Syndergaard for one year of Desmond wouldn’t have made sense, and if the Mets were willing to overpay on the type of extension it would take for Desmond to forego free agency, Davidoff argues that the team should just offer him that big contract next winter when he’s available.
- Also from Davidoff, he hears from Rockies owner Charlie Monfort that a deal that would bring Troy Tulowitzki to the Mets is “not happening.”
- In other NL East news from earlier today, the Braves have no intention of trading Craig Kimbrel, we shared some Nationals notes, MLBTR’s Zach Links spoke to Gattis about his trade to the Astros as part of a media conference call.
Full Story | 0 Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Brandon Beachy | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Evan Gattis | Houston Astros | Ian Desmond | Max Scherzer | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | Noah Syndergaard | Philadelphia Phillies | Texas Rangers | Troy Tulowitzki | Washington Nationals | Yoan Moncada
It was on this day in 1959 that the Braves signed a very notable 20-year-old outfielder out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Rico Carty ended up playing in 829 games for the Braves from 1963 to 1972, and one wonders just how good Carty might’ve been had it not been for several injury setbacks. Despite all the injuries, Carty still produced a .299/369/.464 line and 204 homers over 15 Major League seasons, also playing for the Rangers, Cubs, A’s, Indians and Blue Jays during his career. Here’s the latest from the NL East…
- The Braves have discussed left-hander Luis Avilan with other teams recently, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (via Twitter). Avilan has a 2.56 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 1.81 K/BB rate and a 55.5% ground ball rate over 144 1/3 relief innings for Atlanta over the last three seasons. Advanced metrics indicate he was somewhat fortunate to post low ERA totals in 2012-13, and with more even peripherals in 2014, Avilan’s ERA ballooned to 4.57 last season. The 25-year-old Avilan is under team control through the 2018 campaign.
- It comes as no surprise that the Nationals are excited by right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole, as an opposing scout tells MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel that Washington has been declining his team’s trade inquiries about Cole for almost two full years. “They ain’t letting him go. They’re that high on him,” the scout said. Kerzel examines how the Nats might handle Cole’s development in 2015, as he could be kept in Triple-A or perhaps used in the Show as an electric bullpen option.
- Is the Mets‘ relatively quiet offseason a tactical decision, or does it represent a “lack of ingenuity by the front office or lack of financial resources by ownership,” Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders. The aggressive moves made by such teams as the Padres, Cubs and Marlins have overshadowed the Mets’ more modest transactions, though one AL West executive thinks the Amazins are “laying in the weeds waiting for hopeful January free-agent bargains.” A big-ticket addition like Troy Tulowitzki seems unlikely since, as the exec opines, “I don’t think they [the Mets] have the financial flexibility to pay for him even if they could get him.”