Four Things Toronto Blue Jays Fans Should Consider About the Troy Tulowitzki Deal
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While it’s no secret the Blue Jays still need pitching, this trade does help them in a number of ways, as the Jays receive arguably the best all-around shortstop in baseball. While there is a lot to analyze with this trade, here are four things Blue Jays fans should consider when evaluating the deal.
1. The financial ramifications aren’t that bad
The salaries of Tulowitzki and Reyes are a wash for 2015, since both players will earn $22 million total when you count the $2 million assignment bonus that Tulo will receive for getting traded.
But after that, the Jays actually get Tulo at a pretty good rate going forward when you consider the biggest salary aspect of this trade — Jose Reyes.
The Blue Jays were committed to Reyes for $48 million after this season. Subtract that total from Tulo’s remaining $98 million deal, and the Jays are getting Tulo for $50 million over the next five years, which is a steal.
Then consider that Reyes is regarded to have negative trade value, according to Dan Szymborski and ZiPs.
In the short-term, this deal actually clears $2 million in cap space for both the 2016 and 2017 season. Even after that, though, Tulo’s contract is not nearly as significant as it seems when you take into account that he is one of only two players that the Jays have under contract from 2018-2020 (the other being Russell Martin).
Really, the Jays are not financially strapped by doing this deal. Instead, they can build their payroll around the trio of Martin, Donaldson (who they have under team control through 2018), and Tulowitzki.
Jun 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
2. The Rogers Center compares well with Coors Field
People are always quick to point out that Tulowitzki plays half his games at the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field. Playing a mile above sea level is obviously a distinct advantage that helps boost his offensive numbers. However, Tulo is a career .277/.349/.469 hitter on the road, which is very productive when you consider his defensive contributions.
Much like Coors Field, the Rogers Centre is known to inflate the power numbers of right-handed hitters. As well, divisional opponents like the Yankees and Red Sox also boast offensive friendly stadiums, which bodes well for Tulo. Sure, his numbers might regress a bit from Coors Field. But if there was ever another park for him to call home, the Rogers Centre would be one of the most ideal fits.
3. The Blue Jays prospect pool is still loaded
The departure of Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco is a decent price to pay for Tulowitzki. One scout who tracks the Jays’ system told FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal that they gave up “three great arms” in the deal. While this may be true, keep in mind that many view Hoffman as the only pitcher with “ace” potential in this deal. The Jays projected Castro as a reliever and Tinoco as a back-end starter, so it really isn’t too bad when you evaluate the full body of work.
Additionally, the Jays prospect pool is still loaded. Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, Max Pentecost, Mitch Nay and Sean Reid-Foley are all still within the Jays’ system. Furthermore, quality prospects like Anthony Alford, Matt Boyd, Alberto Tirado and Richard Urena are all still here too.
So for all the talk about giving up prospects, keep in mind that the Jays still have more than enough of them to go and acquire the starting pitcher they covet. Or, let’s say worse case scenario they don’t acquire that pitcher. Are you really upset about having a trio of Stroman, Sanchez and Norris going forward?
4. We have no idea how prospects will work out
This is a pretty obvious statement, but I feel like a lot of the negativity surrounding this trade derives from what Noah Syndergaard has become. Yes, he’s developing into somebody the Jays will likely regret trading. However, for every Syndergaard, there are players like Anthony Gose, Travis Snider and Kyle Drabek to use as examples to counter argue with.
Unless somebody has solved the long-standing riddle of unpredictability in projecting baseball prospects, we really have no idea how Hoffman, Castro or Tinoco are going to pan out. Much like we have no idea whether or not Tulo can play a full season. But instead, what we do know is that, when healthy, Tulo is easily one of the best players in all of baseball.
He’s a difference maker and somebody who the Jays can build around for the foreseeable future. Combine that with the big league roster and farm system in place, and it’s hard not to like this trade in my opinion.
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