The Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays shocked the baseball world on Monday with a trade that sent star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and the $US100 million left on his contract to the Blue Jays.
Tulowitzki is essentially a luxury for the Blue Jays, who add a top hitter to their already-elite offence when they were in more need of good pitchers.
Adding to the shock of the trade is that Tulowitzki and Rockies owner Dick Monfort reportedly had an agreement to let Tulowitzki approve of any trade before making it happen, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. However, the Rockies reportedly made the trade without Tulowitzki’s approval, as he found out when he was pulled from a game in the ninth inning.
Tulowitzki, Rockies players, and Rockies manager Walt Weiss have hardly been approving.
Tulowitzki told the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders he was “blindsided” by the trade, particularly that he wasn’t told about it beforehand:
“I felt like I got blindsided a bit. I thought I was in the loop, in the conversation. So it definitely caught me by surprise. I was shocked and it caught me off guard. I think maybe I was a little naive to think I would be so connected to the (trade) process.”
“They told me they would keep [Weiss] in the loop, and that if anything got serious, they would talk to me about it. So, to get pulled out of the game in the ninth inning and be told I was traded, I was shocked.”
Tulowitzki also said that he had heard rumours of being traded to other teams, but never heard or expected the Blue Jays.
Weiss, whom Passan described as teary-eyed when the trade happened, told Saunders that their “heads are still spinning”:
“Our heads are still spinning a little bit. It’s a big deal when the franchise player gets traded. I think we are all in a bit of shock last night. It was tough. We have a pretty special connection. I played the same position and have gone through the same grind that he has. So that has always been a pretty special connection for us. It was difficult.”
Saunders described the atmosphere in the clubhouse after the game as “somber” as players and reporters both lingered in the clubhouse, waiting to hear the official word of the trade. Nolan Arenado, the Rockies third basemen, told Saunders he was shocked by the trade:
“I was shocked, we all were, by Tulo getting traded. I’m hurt. Tulo’s been the one guy who has been by my side ever since I was in (Single-A) Asheville. It’s disappointing. That is not the guy I wanted to see go.”
He also didn’t rave about the Rockies’ acquisition of Reyes and three pitching prospects:
“I don’t know any of these dudes we got. But I think if we were going to trade Tulo, I would think it would be for an ace, an established veteran pitcher. Obviously we are starting to rebuild from the ground up.”
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu told Saunders:
“I was shocked much like everybody else. Disappointed. It still kind of tough to get my mind around it. We knew somebody might get dealt, but nobody expected this.”
The Blue Jays, who got the best player in the trade, still only expressed marginal excitement, knowing that Tulowitzki doesn’t really address their biggest needs. Pitcher R.A. Dickey told TSN’s Scott MacArthur:
“I think it would still be nice to go get an arm and I know [general manager Alex Anthopoulos] knows that and I’m sure he’s blowing up the phone as we speak working on other deals… To get another arm would be significant.”
The trade deadline is Friday at 4 p.m.
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