It is official now, there is a press release and everything. Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins for Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco. Alex never fails to surprise.
In the past year Alex has taken 3 positions that I really didn't think of as weaknesses, and improved them.
- I thought Brett Lawrie was an ok third baseman, someone that could maybe grow into something better, but could handle the spot. Alex upgrades to Josh Donaldon.
- Dioner Navarro had a far better season than I'd hoped for, in 2014, at least offensively, and his defense I figured we could live with, but Alex signs Russell Martin.
- And Reyes? His defense was lacking (yes understatement), but he was a good a SS as there was in the AL East. And I thought he, with that contract, just couldn't be traded. But Alex gets someone that is massively better on defense and offense.
He certainly doesn't work like most GM's. Most GM's would work at the obvious weaknesses of the team. Alex has been improving the strength of the team, the offense (and making the defense better too).
So when you see comments about the Blue Jays not needing Troy Tulowitzki because scoring runs wasn't the team's problem, ignore them. There are no diminishing returns to scoring more runs; there is no point on offense to where the marginal value of a run scored is worth less than preventing a run from being allowed on defense. All that matters is the differential between runs scored and allowed, and you don't get any extra credit for being above average at both as opposed to dominating in one and surviving at the other.
Anthopoulos first asked the Rockies about Tulowitzki during the winter, but the Rockies would not take back shortstop Jose Reyes as part of the return.
So, Anthopoulos tried again in May. No change. Then again in July. Some movement. At the All-Star break, more movement.
And then, late Monday night, bingo.
I think (the Jays) got an excellent player at a very affordable price. As long as Tulowitzki remains healthy, he will continue to be the best shortstop in the game for the foreseeable future. At some point (probably before the end of this contract) he won't be, but the Jays are making this deal primarily for 2015.
Off Tulowitzki went, out the clubhouse's back door, fittingly enough. The Rockies had done him just like that, backdoored him and floored him, 10 years gone just like that, a reminder that spoken agreements are only as good as the people doing the speaking. In the end, the Rockies felt like they owed Tulowitzki nothing, and that's business, brutal and unforgiving and, more than anything when it comes to the Rockies, typical.
If there's one thing you can say about this era of Rockies baseball, one that has included five straight seasons with 73 or more losses, it's that the team has shown a knack for executing big-ticket trades as ham-fistedly as possible.
What a trade.
Hawkins said he had been texting with an equally excited Tulowitzki, whom he's excited about playing with in Toronto. The logistics will be well worth it if the players help the Jays' postseason dreams materialize.