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Today in Blue Jays History: The Tulowitzki Trade

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MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago today the Blue Jays and the Rockies made a big deadline trade. The Jays got Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins. Going to Denver were Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, Jesus Tinoco and Jose Reyes.

The Jays were 50-50, slightly disappointing, considering the team picked up Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin (among others) that off-season.

As you might remember, Reyes defense had taken a sharp nose dive. Reyes was being singled out by Jerry Howarth for his defense and, surprisingly, for his smile. He was taking a ton of the blame for the mediocre record. Unfortunately, Reyes seemed to have the ability to make an error at the worst possible moment. And he wasn’t hitting the way we hoped he would (.285/.322/.385 at the time of the trade).

So, Troy came over and he wasn’t instantly great (in fact, he hasn’t been great ever, as a Blue Jay). He hit .239/.317/.380 after the trade and he ended up on the DL after colliding with Kevin Pillar’s chin. But, when he played, he made the plays. He didn’t make an error in his 39 games at short, so he was a step up from Reyes. Since then, well, you know how things have gone for Troy since.

LaTroy Hawkins joined the pen and did a pretty nice job, putting up a 2.76 ERA in 18 games. We’ll not talk about his performance in the playoffs. He retired after the season

Anyway, the Tulo trade, plus a couple of other moves (the David Price trade would come three days later and the Ben Revere and Mark Lowe trades were soon after that) seemed to light a fire under the team and we made the playoffs (and would again in 2016).

We had a poll and well....

And, basically, every source out there liked the trade. Not that there wasn’t the odd worrier (Matt W wrote “Did the Blue Jays just acquire Jose Reyes all over again?” Yeah looks like he was right, but then...Playoffs.).

So what has happened to the guys the Rockies got:

  • Jose Reyes: He hit .259/.291/.368 in 47 games for the Rockies after the trade. And he had some legal troubles. After the season the Rockies released him (even though he had a fair chunk of change left on his contact. The Mets took him back. He hit .267/.326/.443 for them last year. This year he’s at .227/.288/.391.
  • Jeff Hoffman was the biggest piece going to the Rockies. He made 6 starts for the Rockies last year. This year he’s made 11 starts, plus a relief appearance. He has a 5.10 ERA, a 6-2 record. In 65.1 innings, he’s allowed 65 hits, 7 home runs, 21 walks and 55 strikeouts. His FIP is 4.00. He’s not doing as great as I thought he might, but I’d still love to have him in our rotation.
  • Miguel Castro: He started the 2015 season as our closer, but didn’t hold the job for long. He pitched 20 innings, for the Rockies, over 2015 and 2016, putting up a 7.20 ERA. At the start of this season he was traded to the Orioles. He started the season in AAA and has been up and down a couple of times. But he’s been with the major league team since mid-June. He has a 2.70 ERA in 26.2 innings. 22 hits, 4 homers, 7 walks and 12 strikeouts. His FIP is 5.09. The strikeout total is pretty low. He is still just 22.
  • Jesus Tinoco: He’s pitching in High A, in the Rockies system. He has a 5.15 ERA in 17 starts. In 96 innings, he’s allowed 121 hits, 33 walks and 61 strikeouts. He’s 22. I wouldn’t consider him much of a prospect anymore.

So, two years later, we have 2 playoff appearances. I guess the question is, would have made the playoffs without Tulo? A question I really can’t answer. It seemed we got a boost from the deadline deals of 2015. But would the Price deal have been enough to push us there in 2015? Would we have found a different way to replace Reyes? Likely. A better way? I don’t know.

We are on the hook for a lot of money with Tulo. I get told daily, hourly, that we should trade him. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’ve been told that Vernon Wells was traded so anyone can be traded. That might be true but it took a lot of stupid on the other side to get Vernon traded, I don’t know if there is that much stupid left in any team’s front office.

Poll

With benefit of hindsight, how do you feel about the Tulo trade?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Like it.
    (326 votes)
  • 34%
    Neutral.
    (211 votes)
  • 13%
    Hate it.
    (81 votes)
618 votes total Vote Now