On Troy Tulowitzki: The Mets Have To Give To Get


It seems that Mets fans and some media members have moved on (at least temporarily) from pining for the Mets to acquire  Giancarlo Stanton or Carlos Gonzalez.  The new target is Troy Tulowitzki, 28, an oft- injured but dynamic talent who’s owed a boatload of money through the 2020 season.

Sept 16, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) hits a double in the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote five days ago that Tulowitzki’s injury history and the monumental sum of money he’s owed could make him an easier get than Carlos Gonzalez.  While I believe that to be true, it doesn’t mean that Colorado is or should be willing to give Tulowitzki away.

In the piece from five days ago, I suggested dangling Noah Syndergaard in a potential deal for Gonzalez.  However, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to dangle him for Tulowitzki instead.

Getting Tulowitzki’s contract off their books would aid in their rebuilding process, and Colorado will almost certainly be looking for multiple impact prospects in return.  While they’re likely looking for multiple impact prospects for Tulowitzki, it’s far more likely that they’ll get a much better ransom for Gonzalez.

In today’s Daily News, John Harper suggested that the Mets should offer Travis d’Arnaud, Dillon Gee, and Rafael Montero to the Rockies for Tulowitzki.  On its face, that package isn’t crazy.  However, the Rockies already have an above average catcher in Wilin Rosario, making d’Arnaud a pointless get for them.

Dillon Gee is a solid starter, perhaps one who can profile as a mid rotation guy.  However, he averages 24 home runs allowed a year and doesn’t miss nearly enough bats for him to be of interest to Colorado in a potential deal for Tulowitzki.  Rafael Montero could get a conversation started.  With that said, while he has a solid career K per 9 rate (8.4), his pinpoint control would likely be a detriment in the thin air of Colorado – where outs turn into singles and doubles turn into home runs.

Here are a few of the Tulowitzki trade proposals I got on our Twitter feed:

If you subtract Tejada and Ike Davis from the first proposal (they have close to no value), it’s not too crazy.  Rafael Montero is one of the better pitching prospects in the game, Jeurys Familia has stuff that could play up in Coors Field, and Daniel Murphy has value.  Still, I think Colorado would balk at that deal.  Familia is unproven, and as is noted above, Montero isn’t an ideal fit for Coors Field.

The second proposal – Montero and Flores – would almost certainly not be enough.  Not only is Flores a man without a position, he’s someone who (partly due to his ankle injury) has struggled to hit during his first taste of the majors.

With all these proposals flying around, it should be noted that the Rockies have apparently said that they want position players in any deal for Gonzalez or Tulowitzki.  They can say that all they want, but I think it’s nonsense.  At present, the Rockies rank 27th in the majors in ERA, and rank 29th in quality starts, WHIP, and batting average against.  This is a team that’s in dire need of pitching, and this is where Noah Syndergaard comes in.

Noah Syndergaard is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.  He’ll be 21 next season,  has overpowering stuff, struck out 11.5 batters per 9 this year while with AA, and is viewed as a legitimate top of the rotation piece.  It would be painful as hell to see him go and the uncertainty surrounding Matt Harvey also needs to be taken into account.  Additionally, the Mets have stated that Syndergaard is close to off limits.  However, the Mets will have to give to get.

The Mets are in need of offense, and they’re rumored to be interested in pending free agent Shin-Soo Choo.  He’d be a solid get, but isn’t the impact piece they should be looking for.  That impact piece could come in the form of Troy Tulowitzki, who could be complemented by another acquisition such as Choo.  Instead of parlaying their impact prospects into an outfielder, the Mets could dangle Syndergaard to Colorado in an effort to land Tulowitzki.

The Rockies would be extremely fortunate if they were offered Syndergaard for Tulowitzki, but they would likely still ask for more.  That’s their right, and the Mets should consider including more.  However, if Syndergaard is in the deal, the Mets’ other top chips should be off limits.  No Montero, no Mejia, no Familia.  Offer Colorado some very good secondary pieces, but none who would be painful to give up at this stage.

Tulowitzki has had issues staying on the field, and he’s owed a ton of money.  The Mets and Rockies know this, and so do the 0ther 28 teams.  The Mets have a unique commodity in Syndergaard, and the Rockies would benefit from adding a potential ace to their staff while gaining tons of financial flexibility.  This could be a match, but the Mets and Rockies would both have to be willing to play ball.

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