Troy Tulowitzki was blindsided by his trade to the Blue Jays last July, but the former Rockies star told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that he’s not bitter toward his former organization. “I was honest last year saying it was very tough for me, ” Tulowitzki explained. “And now I’m honest saying I’m over it.” Tulowitzki spoke to Rosenthal about how close he’s become with Josh Donaldson since joining the team, praising Donaldson’s leadership and intensity. “You want him on your team,” Tulowitzki said of the reigning AL MVP. “He might be that guy on the other team that irks you. But you love taking the field with him. He gets the best out of me.” Tulowitzki spoke favorably about his new organization overall, praising the level of competitiveness that permeates the veteran clubhouse.
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- Interestingly, Tulowitzki gave somewhat of a different vibe in an interview with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “I’ll never talk to him, never talk to those people,” the Blue Jays’ shortstop said of the Rockies’ front office. “You get lied to, straight to your face, you get upset. I believe in forgiveness, but at the same time, I don’t plan on being friendly with them, or anything like that.” Tulowitzki hasn’t spoke to Rockies GM Jeff Bridich since being informed he was traded — a meeting in which Tulowitzki was “livid,” Nightengale notes. Tulowitzki explained that he felt betrayed because he’d been promised to be kept in the loop on trade talks involving his name, but that ultimately didn’t happen. However, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich and former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos each explained to Nightengale that they felt keeping talks as silent as possible was imperative, as leaking information could have jeopardized the trade. Tulowitzki’s focus now, however, is on the upcoming season and rediscovering the level of offense he displayed in his best years with the Rockies. Tulo batted .239/.317/.380 with the Jays and missed time due to a cracked left shoulder blade.
- David Murphy explains to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he was surprised at the fact that he ultimately settled for a minor league contract this winter. While Murphy is excited about the prospect of being in camp with the Red Sox, who originally selected him in the first round of the 2003 draft, he also felt he was productive enough in 2015 to land a big league pact. “I kind of thought it was 50-50 my option would be picked up in LA,” Murphy tells Bradford in reference to a $7MM club option. Murphy didn’t enter the offseason with outlandish expectations; he tells Bradford that his expectation was to sign a one-year deal somewhere but never came all that close to finding one. Murphy implies that earlier in the winter, he received some hypothetical interest on low-paying one-year deals, but his camp waited to see if more lucrative offers materialized. The veteran outfielder adds that he spoke to other free agents this offseason, with many expressing similar confusion about the lack of a market for position players.
- Sticking with Murphy, Jon Heyman recently reported an additional minor detail about his contract with the Red Sox (Twitter link). In addition to the previously reported $2MM base salary, Murphy can earn up to $1.5MM via incentives and secured a March 27 out clause on his deal as well.
- The salary level of pre-arb players is sometimes also cause for controversy, but the Red Sox seemingly avoided that with some of their deals. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports (links to Twitter) that shortstop Xander Bogaerts will receive a relatively hefty $650,500 payday after his strong 2016 season. Others, too, were rewarded, including Brock Holt ($606K) and Mookie Betts ($566K).
- Nobody really comes out of the Aroldis Chapman suspension as a winner, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who says that’s the way it should be. All those involved were in a tough spot, particularly the MLBPA, and the 30-game ban that was arrived upon walks a fine line in serving the varied and complex imperatives that were at play. Sherman’s Post colleague Ken Davidoff argues that the Yankees at least benefit in that the lack of ongoing controversy won’t be a source of drama, while Rosenthal opines that the league landed on an appropriate decision. For his part, Chapman says he’s gotten rid of any firearms and says that the matter is “something I definitely want to put behind me,” as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweets.