Mets see their Troy Tulowitzki dream die

By Danny Abriano

Early Tuesday morning, the Rockies and Blue Jays shook the baseball world when Troy Tulowitzki was dealt to Toronto in exchange for Jose Reyes and three minor league pitchers. The trade made very little sense when it broke and makes very little sense now that everyone has had time to digest it.

The Rockies, who are in rebuild mode and are expected to also trade Carlos Gonzalez in the coming days, took on the 32-year-old Reyes who comes with diminished defense, a .285/.322/.385 slash, and a contract that will pay him over $50 million between now and 2017.

There were immediate rumors that Reyes could be flipped to another team, but the Mets have made it known that they’re not interested in a reunion with Reyes.

Of the prospects the Rockies got in return, RHP Jeff Hoffman is the gem of the deal — a guy with high upside who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the other two prospects weren’t very highly thought of by Toronto. They viewed Miguel Castro as a reliever and Jesus Tinoco as a back-end starter.

While this deal makes very little sense from the Rockies’ point of view, it can be argued that it makes even less sense for Toronto.

The Blue Jays didn’t have to deal their No. 1 or No. 2 pitching prospect in exchange (which should be viewed as another indictment on Colorado), but they did deal two very valuable assets who happen to be pitchers…something the Jays are in dire need of at the moment.

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Toronto has the highest-scoring offense in the majors, so adding Tulowitzki for this season isn’t much of an upgrade, though his defense at shortstop will be an improvement over Reyes. Looking forward to the next five seasons, at least they’ll have Tulowitzki under contract when they likely lose some of their other offensive pieces.

But again, this deal is still an odd one from both sides.

Perhaps Colorado is about to flip Reyes to another team, but it would be shocking if any team was willing to take on that contract while giving up anything of value in return.

According to Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, the haul the Rockies got back from the Blue Jays in exchange for five + years of Tulowitzki is similar to the package the Reds recently got from the Royals in exchange for 2 + months of Johnny Cueto. Cameron adds, though, that the Rockies got some salary relief and notes that the end of Tulowitzki’s contract might be a negative asset.

Shifting to how this should be viewed from the Mets’ point of view, there were recent reports that they had been speaking with the Rockies about a deal for Tulowitzki, and there was also a report from Jeff Passan that indicated Tulowitzki didn’t want to come to the Mets. However, that Passan report also noted that this likely came down to the inability of the Mets and Rockies to agree on a package.

As far as Tulowitzki potentially not wanting to come to the Mets, that seems to have stemmed from an erroneous report from over the winter. I don’t believe it, and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since Tulowitzki didn’t have a no-trade clause.

Looking at the package the Blue Jays sent to the Rockies, a potential equivalent from the Mets might have been Zack Wheeler, Michael Fulmer, and Gabriel Ynoa, with the Rockies eating a large chunk of money (as they’re doing by taking on Reyes).

Perhaps the Rockies didn’t value the Mets’ prospects as highly as the valued Toronto’s, perhaps the Mets couldn’t take on the majority of Tulowitzki’s contract, or perhaps the Rockies were really asking the Mets for an absurd package in return. Either way, it appears that after years of hoping for the Mets to swing a deal for Tulowitzki, the dream is finally dead.

What the Mets need to do now is move on, obtain the final offensive piece they need, and keep pushing.