The Rockies may not yet be prepared to deal shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but the Mets – who made it known last week that they’re interested – are reportedly willing to trade top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in order to import Tulowitzki to Queens.
Says Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports of Tulowitzki:
The St. Louis Cardinals expressed significant interest in him last offseason. They continue to reach out to the Rockies, as have the New York Mets, who are prepared to offer top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in a deal for 29-year-old. And the response is: Not yet. We’re not ready to deal him. We want to hear it from him.
A few weeks ago, Tulowitzki made it known that he’d be open to a trade that gets him out of Colorado. However, he hasn’t yet officially requested to be traded.
The 29-year-old Tulowitzki is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a thigh injury.
Overall in 2014, he’s hitting .340/.432/.603 with 18 doubles, 21 home runs, and 52 RBI.
There are two separate aspects when it comes to the Mets potentially dealing for Troy Tulowitzki.
The first, is what it would take to get him.
For the Mets, moving Syndergaard would hurt – a lot. The other players in the deal are extremely valuable, but don’t have the immense ceiling of Syndergaard.
If the Mets are taking back all of Tulowitzki’s salary (he’s owed $100 million from 2015 through 2019), the above deal should be palatable for Colorado.
That takes us to the second aspect.
Can the Mets actually afford to absorb Tulowitzi’s contract?
If the answer is yes, potentially making a move to acquire him would become that much more real.
If the Mets were to acquire Tulowitzki and his annual $20 million dollar price tag, they would have to up their payroll from roughly $85 million to $110 million or $115 million in order to function properly.
The Mets’ legitimate interest in Tulowitzki would seem to indicate that they’re ready to raise the payroll to the above level, but that will have to be seen to be believed.
As far as what acquiring Tulowitzki would mean? It would be a franchise-altering get, much like the Mike Piazza acquisition in 1998 was.
Yes, Tulowitzki has battled various injuries over the last few years, but if you have a chance to acquire a 29-year-old perennial MVP candidate without gutting your farm system, you roll the dice.
The Mets are just about ready to contend. Trading for Tulowitzki would remove the “just about” from that sentence.