The Astros currently have a stopgap shortstop platoon in Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar, with whoever has the better spring training getting the first shot at a full-time position. With Carlos Correa knocking on the door late in the 2015 season or early in the 2016 season, the talk all offseason is to improve at shortstop. Who better than the arguably best shortstop in the game?
According to Jon Heyman, “New Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said he will continue to listen to trade inquiries regarding superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki at the Winter Meetings.” Let’s address the big 500 pound gorilla in the room: a trade for Tulowizki will be unlikely on the Rockies point of view, and expensive from the Astros perspective. But of all the teams, the Astros have a trade piece or two that might be really tempting for the Rockies.
Lets say that the two Jeff’s (Luhnow and Bridich) sit down for a drink Monday night, and Luhnow asks about Troy Tulowitzki, what names would be thrown around? Would Troy Tulowitzki be worth the quantity and quality of the prospects that might have to be given up?
Why would the Astros do this trade?
Prior to the 2011 season, the Rockies locked up their young shortstop with a 10 year, 157.75 million dollar contract through the year 2020 with an option year for 2021 with 4 million dollar buyout. So it’s not like the Astros would be receiving a one-year rental player. Look at his stats on his career so far.
So the Astros would be trading for 5-6 years of an injury prone SS going into his latter years of his career, and the 20 million dollar a year contract. Troy Tulowitzki is currently 30 years old and has had 8 years of MLB experience. However, isn’t that what the Asros need is not just a veteran, but an All-Star player who could lead by example on the playground while the rest of Astros are throwing sunflower seeds at reporters. On the Sports Illustrated cover with Springer on it, where they said the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros, was Troy Tulowitzi on base when Springer hit a home run?
This trade will also send a clear message to fans and free agents that the Astros are fully committed to take the next step as an organization to provide a winner. I know baseball is more of a team sport where one player doesn’t have that much effect on the team, but have you seen what Tulowitzki can do when healthy. He, along with Jose Altuve, George Springer, Jon Singleton, and others will make the lineup a respectable, if not fearsome, once again.
Whats WAR got to do with it?
Troy Tulowitzki’s WAR over the past 8 (full) years has averaged 4.7, with a high of 6.8 in 2007. He had two years where injuries cut his season short and he had a low WAR of 0.8 ( 2008) and 0.4 (2012). Last year Marwin Gonzalez had a 1.4 WAR and Jonathan Villar had a WAR of 0.5, for a combined 1.9 WAR, compared to Tulowitzki’s 5.5 WAR even after missing most of the second half of the season. So would trading for Tulowitzki only give the Astros 3.6 more wins then the current group of shortstops? Maybe less and maybe more, but his leadership would make all other players better.
Well good news first, I don’t think Springer would be part of my hypothetical Astro and Rockie trade. However, Troy Tulowitzki is a talented player that can help you for years, so he is not gonna be cheap. Plus the Rockies management appears to have a soft spot for “Tulo.” So the Rockies are gonna have to be blown away with an offer they cant refuse.
Here is what I think it will take to get Troy Tulowitzki to the Houston Astros
#2 Top 100 Prospect-(ss) Carlos Correa; Obviously the Rockies will want the Astros top prospect who is about a year away from the start of his Major League career. I know this would be a big blow to Astros fans losing a former number one pick, but drafting Brendan Rodgers with second pick this year, who has similar skills to Correa as an High School student.
#57 Top Prospect Michael Foltynewicz; The Rockies will probably want a major league ready starting pitcher. I wrote about Folty earlier in the offseason. To Start or Relieve: What to do with Michael Foltynewicz.
#19 Astros top prospect (of) Preston Tucker; His power will play in Colorado
and a PTNL or someone on the current 25 man roster.
Also, the Astros would probably have to pick up most of the tab of Troy Tulowizki’s contract. While this trade idea might be considered insulting by most Astros fans, I was thinking of what the Colorado Rockies would want. Will the Astros miss Carlos Correa? This is not a rumor, just speculation as to whether or not the Astros should trade for the All-Star shortstop. If it helps any, I’m getting low ball offers for Tulowitzki in my 10 keeper fantasy baseball league due to injury concerns.
Does this conversation ever come up between the two general managers? Probably not. Do I think this is best for the Astros? Not sure there either. Will the Astros suddenly change the “process” and go all in for a player like Troy Tulowitzki? Would Jim Crane even allow such a big addition to the payroll? We probably won’t ever know the answer to any of those questions. What do you think of the possibility of landing Tulo?
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