The semantics matter, of course. The way that trade rumors catch fire and get people talking these days, the differences between levels of intensity get lost. “Listening” to trade offers gets confused with “trying to make a deal.” Indicating that one is “open” to a trade gets conflated with “wanting out.”
That might make it seem more serious than it is, then, that Troy Tulowitzki has been increasingly willing to say that he is open to a trade that sends him out of Colorado to a contending team. To say he wants out would not be fair…at least not yet.
Tulo has opened up about trades gradually. First he told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post that he wants to win first and foremost and that he does not want to be in Colorado his whole career if things don’t get better. Then he reportedly told management, behind closed doors, that he “gives them his blessing” to trade him if they find that to be the appropriate course of action.
On Friday Thomas Harding of MLB.com wrote about his conversation with Tulowitzki, in which the shortstop indicated the same openness to a deal that sends him to a better team. Tulo has handled these comments with tact, something he continued here by expressing his love for Colorado while saying he would be OK leaving.
In this case, however, Tulowitzki got a bit more specific with the timetable. He will be in Colorado the rest of the season, or so he seems to think, and then he may or may not be talking about getting traded this winter. From Harding’s column:
“If that time comes, it’ll be in the offseason and it’ll be us sitting down and talking about the future here with the Rockies and what direction they’re headed,” Tulowitzki said. “Definitely, I love playing here, I love the fans and the idea of staying in one uniform my whole career. But at the same time, winning is the No. 1 priority with me.
“If they feel they can get more youthful and have players and give me a chance to win sooner rather than later, that’s something that needs to be discussed. I have to sit down with my family as well as the organization and lay it all out there on the line and see what’s best for both of us.”
If that means we are counting on a turnaround from the Rockies this season, at least to the extent that it would persuade Tulowitzki to want to stay for a quick turnaround in 2015, then the reality of Tulowitzki in another uniform is fast approaching.