What Troy Tulowitzki would mean to the New York Mets

By Michael DeCicco

It’s been shot down by Mets brass and brought back by insiders. It’s been analyzed by fanatics and dismissed by beat writers.

Troy Tulowitzki to the Mets. Could it really happen?

Let’s think, or actually, let’s dream, of a potential Tulowitzki to Flushing deal.

As Jon Heyman noted this morning, though any deal faces many hurdles, the two teams do seem to make perfect sense for each other: the Mets are in need of an upgrade at shortstop, and the Rockies are looking to rebuild, specifically with young arms. It may have just been Heyman thinking out loud, but he threw out a potential Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki, Wilmer Flores and Dillon Gee deal for the Rockies superstar, with Colorado also throwing in $32 million of financial relief. For this article’s sake, let’s say this was the deal agreed upon.

What would this mean for the New York Mets?

For their fans?

For their players?

For the media’s outlook on the team?

First of all, a Troy Tulowitzki deal would mark the biggest trade the Mets have made since acquiring Mike Piazza in 1998. Piazza, at the time, was a player on the last year of his contract and already on his way to becoming one of, if not the best hitting catchers of all time. He was 29 years old and had already won the Rookie of the Year award, had been elected to six straight all-star games, and was a two-time MVP runner-up.

While Tulowitzki’s contract situation is different (he would be on the Mets’ books until at least 2020), the Mets would, like they did with Piazza 16 years ago, be taking a gamble on a player who had the potential to turn the franchise around. Tulowitzki, who turned 30 in October, would bring not only his .299/.373/.517 career slash-line to Flushing, but his stellar range at shortstop and cannon of an arm as well.

A Tulowitzki deal would also mean that Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office believe the rebuild is officially over. When the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer in November, it was uncharacteristic of the Alderson regime because it meant the loss of a first round draft pick, something that the front office was completely unwilling to part with just two years ago (i.e., Michael Bourn).

If the Mets gave up two of their top pitching prospects, one of their best positional prospects and a couple of solid big league contributors, it would show the fans that this team, which has been in dire need of a difference-maker in the lineup, would be all-in.

For far too long, the Mets have been the underachieving little brothers in New York. With Derek Jeter‘s recent retirement from baseball, the opportunity for the “other” team in New York to take over is real. Now that Matt Harvey will be back in the mix in 2014, acquiring a player like Troy Tulowitzki to pair on the left side of the infield with Met-lifer David Wright would make the Mets an instant hit, both on the field and in New York.

And last but not least, for the Mets fans, a Troy Tulowitzki deal would bring one thing in particular: excitement. Not since 2008 have our beloved Mets played in a meaningful baseball game in September, and because of this our undying love for the team has certainly been tested. Is this ever going to turn around?  I’ve thought to myself on multiple occasions. And though I’ve been content with what Sandy has done to this point under the circumstances, a Tulowitzki deal would make all the suffering of the past eight years worth it.

Think back for a second to the 2013 All Star Game. 45,000 plus fans packed into Citi Field for baseball’s mid-summer classic. The atmosphere. The bright lights. We need that again, but this time, in October, for a Mets home playoff game. A Troy Tulowitzki deal could get us there.

It’s time, Sandy. Make the move.