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.