Rockies GM Jeff Bridich addressed recent comments from star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and his agent about the possibility of a trade, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Bridich wrote off the recent talk about a deal as “a media production, more than anything else.”
Colorado’s top baseball executive also rejected the notion that Tulowitzki’s camp was responsible for the sudden rash of attention to the idea of the club’s top attraction demanding a trade. (Tulowitzki, of course, has denied that he will do so.) Bridich made clear, further, that Colorado sees itself in the driver’s seat regarding Tulowitzki’s employment.
“The reality is that at any point, in any players’ day, they can come to the organization and ask for a trade, I suppose,” said Bridich. “But the reality is that Troy doesn’t have control of this and neither does his agent, for the contract. All Troy wants to do is come to work each day and make us better.”
Bridich also noted that he believes reports are tied to the club’s overall struggles. “That fuels speculation,” said Bridich, “and then people go on the record and try to create types of news stories and controversies by writing opinions that are just that, opinions. They aren’t based in fact. So really, nothing has changed. … Funny how none of this came up in April when we were playing very different baseball.”
There is little doubt that Colorado’s recent free-fall in the NL West standings has brought the matter back to the front burner. In that regard, Bridich is undoubtedly correct. But there is also a good reason for the current revival of an oft-discussed question: the team does not seem headed for contention — now or, frankly, in the near future — and Tulowitzki would represent a huge upgrade for many other clubs.
Though the 30-year-old has not played to his usual level thus far, slashing a modest .289/.297/.456, that represents a relatively tiny data point. There are legitimate reasons for some concern, of course, starting with the fact that Tulo is coming off of hip surgery. Then, there’s his troubling 1.7% walk rate, coupled with an uncharacteristic 23.7% strikeout rate.
If Tulowitzki can put up anything near his usual level of production going forward, the slow start (and, to a lesser extent, the injury concerns) will be all but forgotten. He is obviously not cheap — he’s owed the balance of $20MM this year and $98MM from 2016-2020 (including an option buyout for 2021) — but that’s a manageable sum for most teams for a superstar, up-the-middle player. All said, it’s quite likely that we will see plenty of ongoing rumors and analysis of the situation over the next few months.