Jul 13, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Coors Field. The Twins won 13-5. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies have indicated in recent days that they are willing to listen to trade offers for Carlos Gonzalez and/or Troy Tulowitzki. It’s not going to be as simple as it sounds and there are number of hurdles that will make it difficult for any trade to happen.
The biggest problem is the injury history of Gonzalez and Tulowitzki and the salary remaining on their contracts. If they were healthy and coming off of great seasons, then teams would be lining up to make offers. However those same teams are now going to be wary of them because of those injuries.
Let’s start with Tulowitzki. When he’s healthy, Tulowitzki is a top five player in the game. The problem is he’s been hurt a lot and is not coming off of major hip surgery. There are some who believe he won’t even be ready for spring training and the hip could be a chronic problem going forward.
The other issue with Tulowitzki is he is no longer a young player, he’s 30 with an injury history and a huge contract. There will be contenders who are interested in the shortstop but the Rockies are probably going to have to eat a good portion of his salary to make any deal happen.
Gonzalez has less of an injury history but is coming off of a season where his finger was never right. The belief is that the surgery fixed the problem but there are no guarantees once he starts swinging the bat again.
When Gonzalez did play in 2014, he was awful. Opposing pitchers have found and exposed a big hole in his swing. Now maybe he can make his own adjustment and be more patient at the plate, but teams will use that to drive down his trade value.
I completely understand why the Rockies would be interested in moving Gonzalez and Tulowitzki because they are not winning with them, so why not get something for them.
The problem, other than the ones listed above, is can the Rockies get equal value or even close to equal value in return? The answer to that question is no. When a team trades a star, they are never going to get equal value back. Therefore the question is can the Rockies clear enough salary by moving their two best players to improve the team?
As we already touched on, it’s difficult for me to believe that there is any team out there that would trade their top prospects to the Rockies and take on huge salaries. There are a number of teams who would love to add Gonzalez or Tulowitzki but they are not going to be willing to pick up the entire contract.
That means the Rockies are then going to be without their two best players while still paying them. Is that really a good idea? It’s going to severely limit what they can do in an effort to improve the roster.
Then there’s the elephant in the room. Does anyone really trust the front office of the Rockies to pull off a deal of this magnitude and not get fleeced? Yes it’s a new General Manager in Jeff Bridich but it’s the same ownership, and that ownership has a terrible track record.
The Rockies would probably be smart to move both players provided they can get rid of most of their salaries and get something in return. However Bridich must be able to play hardball and call some bluffs; it’s a difficult spot for a first time General Manager. It’s early in his tenure but how he handles Gonzalez and Tulowitzki will go a long way in defining that tenure.
In the end, it probably won’t matter what the Rockies do. They are in a division with the San Francisco Giants who have won three World Series Titles in five years, and the Los Angeles Dodgers who are this decade’s version of the Yankees.
How the Rockies deal with Gonzalez and Tulowitzki in the offseason will be interesting, it will certainly be more interesting than anything the put on the field in the spring.