Back in May, we shared a list of the 37 reasons why the time was right for the Rockies to trade Troy Tulowitzki.
The number corresponded to the times Tulowitzki had been injured during his pro-baseball career — 36 — plus the additional factor that he was actually healthy at the time, making him a more attractive trade prospect.
The Rockies didn't pull the trigger then, but they did last night, albeit in strange fashion.
As noted by CBS4, Tulo was pulled in the ninth inning of (surprise) a depressing loss to the Cubs, presumably because he was no longer a member of the squad.
ESPN adds that reporters hung around after the game in the hope that Tulowitzki or someone from Rockies management would make a statement. But instead, Tulo slipped away and manager Walt Weiss said he couldn't comment because the trade wasn't official.
It appears to be in the books now. Tulo and reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who's 42-years-not-so-young, have been shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Jose Reyes, relief pitcher Miguel Castro and a couple of pitching prospects.
Reyes's Blue Jays teammate, Jose Bautista, was certainly sad to see Reyes go, as illustrated by this tweet:
Whether Blue Jays Nation as a whole feels the same is less clear.
Reyes played nine impressive seasons for the New York Mets (he was the 2011 batting champ) before coming to Toronto in 2012. But as ESPN points out, the Blue Jays haven't made the playoffs since his arrival and his numbers have been declining. He was injured earlier in the season (great) and the net points out that he's currently batting .285 with four home runs, 34 RBIs and sixteen stolen bases — decent digits, but not exactly comparable to Tulo's.
Reliever Castro's stats are much worse. He was reportedly demoted to triple-A in May owing to a horrible ERA (currently 10.13) and an uninspiring record (his last seven appearances have resulted in two losses and two blown saves). But he's just twenty-years-old and is the sort of hard thrower who could develop into something more than he's shown to date.
The pitching prospects could have more potential: In particular, Purple Row touts Jeff Hoffman as "young and exciting," as well as someone who was "once considered a No. 1 overall talent in the draft." But they won't help the Rockies right away — or, maybe, ever.
So what does the transaction do for Colorado? It gets the team out from underneath Tulo's massive contract; MLB.com notes that he's owed $113.7 million through 2020, And it signals that new Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich may actually be capable of doing something — which has been unclear by his lack of meaningful moves to date.
As for Tulo's legacy in Colorado, he's arguably the most talented player ever to don a Rockies uniform, and he's had plenty of great moments at the plate and in the field. But since 2007, when the Rockies made the World Series in his rookie season, he's mainly been a witness to disappointment and loss, often from the sidelines.
Long story short: He was great, but he had to go — and we won't know for a while if the Rockies got good value for sending him away.
Look below to see two CBS4 reports — the first a package about the trade, the second an interview from May in which Tulo didn't exactly come across as a Colorado longtimer. That's followed by several videos commemorating Tulo injuries over the years.
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